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We grow veggies and flowers in the dirt organically. We don't use any chemicals at all. I have been searching for a natural remedy for controlling  pests, and have found a few recipes from other organic growers that work ok, but only that. I recently found an idea here for using tomato leaves, chopped and diluted in water to make a spray . It works. I sprayed my cucumbers and the next day nearly every aphid was dead or gone. I wish I had found this sooner because the aphids really did a number on my cukes. I followed the recipe on the website except that I put mine in a blender and chopped it up good. I then let it sit for two days so it could really steep well. Then I strained it and put it in my pump up sprayer. WARNING! This stuff stinks! It may have been because I left the lid closed while it steeped. I will try it without the lid next time. It did not harm any of my plants, and it seems like its effects last a good time. I sprayed last weekend, and I have not seen the return of the aphids yet. Maybe a few, but nothing like they were.

 So far I have only tried it on my soil garden. The basis for the idea is that the alkaloids in the tomato leaves is what kills the aphids. The website claimed that it is non toxic to plants and humans, so I can't really say if it would have a negative effect on the fish. I will look into it further.

I hope this helps someone out there who has been searching.

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Interesting.  I am dealing with Potato Aphids right now but my set up is small and in my house.  Outside I have used and alcohol  water, red pepper and biodegradable soap, mixture.  It works on peppers, tomatoes etc, just can not use it on lettuce, celery or similar plants, it will kill them, well at least the leaves and then you have to wait for them to regrow.

I wonder if the tomato spray would cause water issues or damage to the fish being an alkaloid, like garlic which could kill the bacteria.  I guess if you can spot spray it would not really be an issue.  Thanks for the link though def. worth the investigation.

My gardening is all outdoors and I knock aphids off with water.  That and hand picking worms is all i ever do for pest control.  Very interesting though, the tomato leaves.

I think my wife would kill me if I brought the hose in the house.  

George said:

My gardening is all outdoors and I knock aphids off with water.  That and hand picking worms is all i ever do for pest control.  Very interesting though, the tomato leaves.

Have you tried Lady bugs?

I copied this section  for you from my website where I was helping someone with their Ghost Pepper plant.  http://hisfarm.org/2723/organic-gardening/why-has-my-ghost-pepper-p... is the link if you want to read some of the other things that we did. 

I really like your using the tomato leaves and allow it to steep as a tea!  Thank you for sharing,  I am always learning and testing new "cures" and techniques to get the most from our garden without using chemicals.

The Lady Bug!!  Yahoo, for me, they do the work and they are cute.  I do not have to do any work, the bugs eat well, and the aphids are layed waste by the lady bug!

You do not have lady bugs?  What to do?

  • Purchase some lady bugs
  • Create a solution of a good quality organic dish soap and mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of soap to 1 quart of rain water or filtered water.
  • Spray it on the plants and around the plants to wash away the chemical trails that the ants leave while driving their herds of vampiritic aphids to your plants.  Keeps them guessing.
  • You can also mix some cayenne pepper into the mix, and it will also help keep the ants and aphids at bay.

Thanks for sharing!  I will give your solution a test!

Chris

Outside yes on the ladybugs, in the house no.  My setup is currently in the kitchen. Thanks Chris for your link, I am all about the peppers!

Chris Downs said:

Have you tried Lady bugs?

I copied this section  for you from my website where I was helping someone with their Ghost Pepper plant.  http://hisfarm.org/2723/organic-gardening/why-has-my-ghost-pepper-p... is the link if you want to read some of the other things that we did. 

I really like your using the tomato leaves and allow it to steep as a tea!  Thank you for sharing,  I am always learning and testing new "cures" and techniques to get the most from our garden without using chemicals.

The Lady Bug!!  Yahoo, for me, they do the work and they are cute.  I do not have to do any work, the bugs eat well, and the aphids are layed waste by the lady bug!

You do not have lady bugs?  What to do?

  • Purchase some lady bugs
  • Create a solution of a good quality organic dish soap and mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of soap to 1 quart of rain water or filtered water.
  • Spray it on the plants and around the plants to wash away the chemical trails that the ants leave while driving their herds of vampiritic aphids to your plants.  Keeps them guessing.
  • You can also mix some cayenne pepper into the mix, and it will also help keep the ants and aphids at bay.

Thanks for sharing!  I will give your solution a test!

Chris

Any idea what effect that organic soap may have on the fish?

I know the soap I have claims "biodegradable"  but what it really meant to say if you spill it in a lake it will dilute enough and breakdown.  I know in an enclosed tank the stuff I have will kill the fish.  So the idea of soap of any kind scares me.



George said:

Any idea what effect that organic soap may have on the fish?

My wife makes soap out of the Agave plant.  I can test it in our small aquaponics system and let you know.  Great Question! 

As it is a natural plant, I do not know.  Anyone else tested it?

Great idea Chris! I'm curious to know what you find out. We have a few agave on site, and I am always glad to find new natural solutions as well.

Most oils and many saponified fats (soap basically) will kill soft bodied insects by suffocating them...since thy breathe through their pores. Only problem is in AP you kinda have to be careful not to get any (or as little as possible) in your water since they seem to do a number on the fish's gills, and if the damage is extensive enough they can die. If you can protect your system from over-spray it seems like you should be fine.

That said, there is a naturally occurring fungus called Beauvaria bassiana that will take care of a whole host of common garden pests...and then some. B. bassiana can be purchased under the trade names Botaniguard, Naturalis-L or Mycotrol-O the later two being ok'd by OMRI...

Wow, thanks Vlad.

Thanks Vlad,  That is great information.  I will check it out as an option!

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Most oils and many saponified fats (soap basically) will kill soft bodied insects by suffocating them...since thy breathe through their pores. Only problem is in AP you kinda have to be careful not to get any (or as little as possible) in your water since they seem to do a number on the fish's gills, and if the damage is extensive enough they can die. If you can protect your system from over-spray it seems like you should be fine.

That said, there is a naturally occurring fungus called Beauvaria bassiana that will take care of a whole host of common garden pests...and then some. B. bassiana can be purchased under the trade names Botaniguard, Naturalis-L or Mycotrol-O the later two being ok'd by OMRI...

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