A beautiful and healthy garden is possible without the use of expensive and often hazardous chemicals.  The following are a number of natural recipes to create safe and effective deterrents to bugs and other pests.  With a little effort, you will be doing your garden and the environment a big favour.


All-Purpose Insect Spray


1 garlic bulb

1 all onion

1 tbsp (15 ml) cayenne pepper

1 quart (litre) water

1 tbsp (15 ml) liquid soap (hand soap only)


Chop and grind garlic & onion, add cayenne and mix with water.  Let steep 1 hour, then add liquid soap.  Store the mixture in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Use it as a spray wherever insects are causing a problem. 





Aphids, thrips Stinging nettle spray

Cover 1 quart (1 litre) of nettles with water – with lid on, steep for 3 weeks – dilute with 7 parts water


Aphids, June beetles, black spot, fungus diseases


Rhubarb spray Steep 6 rhubarb leaves in 2 to 3 quarts (2 to 3 litres) boiling water
Chewing/sucking insects, mildew, leaf spot, rust, spore disease Garlic spray

Steep 3 cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of very hot pepper in 1 quart (1 litre) of water for 10 minutes; strain.  Can be diluted with water 1:4.


Chewing/sucking insects Pyrethrum spray

Steep 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dry flowers heads in two quarts (2 litres) of hot water.  Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaeflloum) is an attractive perennial with marguerite daisy-like flowers


White flies Mullein spray

Steep 1 part mashed mullein leaves with 5 parts of water


Aphids, asparagus larvae, black spot, scale insects Tomato leaves

Steep 10 chopped tomato leaves and 1 chopped onion in ½ cup (120 ml) of alcohol for a few minutes, apply with a swab.


Spider mites, cabbage worms Salt solution

1 ounce (28 grams) table salt in one gallon (4 litres) of water


Mosaic disease on tomatoes and peppers Skim milk spray

Sour milk has been used against cabbage worms


Potato blight, black spot, yellowing tomato leaves

Manure tea


½ commercial bag of manure or 1 mesh onion bag full of old manure and straw steeped in half of a large plastic garbage can of water.