31 May 2009

Toxic

I like gardening. I like eating vegetables. So this year I put two and two together and decided to try my hand at growing vegetables. I've been successful with strawberries and herbs, so why not, right? Enter the dreaded flea beetle. My eggplant leaves are now riddled with holes and dotted with these little black buggers.

Thanks to Kenny and his readers over at Veggie Gardening Tips, I decided to try my own concoction recommended by one reader: a toxic mix of garlic, red pepper, and oregano. I added a teaspoonful of minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano to a cup of tap water; mixed and strained it through a mesh sieve; and poured it into a generic garden sprayer bottle. After dousing the leaves and undersides generously with the spray I said a little gardening prayer and now leave it to the gardening gods. Fingers crossed that this mixture will keep them away and allow my eggplant to grow big and strong.

I love these tried and true (and sometimes very weird) methods of dealing with pests, weeds, etc. using items from your pantry. Last year I battled poison ivy along my back fence line with boiling water. Dandelions I attacked with white vinegar. Mild soap and water spray is always a good remedy for houseplant flies and spider mites. And the next time ants come crawling into my kitchen, I have some good remedies lined up to try - bay leaves and pepper are all ready to go.

3 comments:

jerseygirl77 said...

Hmm, garlic, red pepper, and oregano? I suppose if it doesn't keep the bugs away, you can always use it as a marinade. ;-) Let me know when those eggplants are ready and we'll make some eggplant parmagiana with my homemade marinara!!

miss bess said...

did the white vinegar really work on the dandies?!!

Gretchen said...

JG: Fingers crossed for the eggplants. Yum!

MB: You know what worked the best on the dandelions? Just getting one of those long spear-like dandelion diggers and pulling them out root and all. But yes, the vinegar did make them shrivel (but also the grass doesn't like it): http://www.pesticide.org/dandelions.html. Good luck!