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Pepper spray from my own garden good idea or waste of time ?

 
cameron johnson
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
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I have been making a spray from jalapeno and marigolds with my blender and straining it then diluting it with water and a couple of drops of dish soap. does this sound like it would be effective keeping bugs off plants or am I just wasting my time, it seems like it might be helping but we had so much rain in spring in mid Alabama the bugs are a nightmare and its hard to tell. plus I started fighting back a little late so a lot of damage has already been done. so should I keep on with this or is their something better I should try?
 
John Elliott
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If it is working, keep using it. If not, try other things.

I don't know how effective the jalapeno is on insects; I use that to keep mammal nibblers away. Any of your herbs that are unmolested by insects, these would be the plants to try in your mixture. I never have bugs attacking the sage, rosemary, lemon balm, oregano, and thyme. But I have to do daily patrols for harlequin bugs on the collards, hornworms on the tomatoes and peppers, and everything seems to want to take a bite out of the eggplant.

 
Ludger Merkens
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Location: Deutschland (germany)
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I don't know about pepper spray against bugs.
But I successfully used a tea of tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) against sucking insects like white fly (Trialeurodes) and aphids (Sternorrhyncha).


To prepare the tea, I collect tansy in full bloom, let it dry and chop the whole plant.

From this I cook a strong tea - (one hand full per Liter of water - remove the plants after approximately 10 min. )
After cooling this down, I use it as foliar spray.

Be careful, don't drink this tea. Even though it has been used against intestinal worms, it is toxic to humans, if used in too big doses.
 
cameron johnson
Posts: 74
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
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john I know what you mean hornworms all the time and flea beetles on eggplant. I just started the jalapeno because its about the only thing that the bugs don't eat, and since you mentioned it I have all those herbs probably wouldn't hurt to try and mix some of those in as well since they seem to be fairly untouched. Thanks for the advise
 
Dale Hodgins
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All of my aphid problems were caused by a gardening partner who waters way too much. Pepper spray was ineffective on the aphids. I didn't try it on her.

I blasted them off with water. My thumb works better than the average contraption sold for the purpose. Sprayed twice. Then I promised to water regularly and didn't. The problem went away.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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In one of Eliot Coleman's books, he says that aphids tend to become a problem when the plants have an excess of nitrogen. He said he used to have a problem with aphids in his greenhouses and cold frames, and he didn't used to water in those all winter because they didn't really need watering. But since he decided to water in winter to soak the excess nitrogen down and out of range of the roots, he hasn't had such aphid problems.

We used to have aphid problems at the end of winter in our greenhouses every year, and we tried all kinds of homemade sprays, using variously garlic, chilli, soap, ashes, in various combinations (usually recommended by somebody or another). None of them seemed to work. Our aphid problems have reduced in the past few years and I think probably what has happened is that our bare desert soil has finally established a soil community in the greenhouses, after years of winter cultivation, summer dry and fallow, and annual additions of manure. And a small population of assorted weeds and wild plants and insect predators in the area has become established. I think the richer and more balanced ecosystem is keeping aphids in their place.

Or maybe it's just cyclical and I'm lulled into thinking something good has happened just because we've had less aphids for a few years in a row.

 
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