If you’re trying to do any kind of serious gardening, at some point you will run into the issue of bugs and pests. They can quickly take over and destroy a vegetable patch and “leaving nature to handle it” is simply not an option. Fortunately, I came up with a natural solution that works just as well (if not better!) as any of the commercial options I’ve tried.
My inspiration came from noticing that vegetables growing near either Sage, Lavender, or Rosemary never got attacked by pests. Onions and garlic growing nearby also seem to help. I’ve responded by growing tons of these herbs, but I’ve also taken it a step further by creating a recipe you can use with a sprayer and spray directly on your plants that are being attacked by bugs.
First I gather up enough of these herbs (either sage, lavender, or rosemary) to fill a spaghetti or soup pot. In this case I am using Russian Blue Sage which is so potent my hands are sticky with oil after touching it. You can use whichever of the herbs you wish or a combination if you don’t have enough of either kind. Honestly, a combination might work even better.
Fill the pot with water. You’ll want to end up with roughly equal parts water to herbs. Bring to a boil. It will take a long time to get this to boil, but that is good for releasing maximum oil into the tea. Once it’s boiling, cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Wait until it has completely cooled on it’s own to room temperature. Your house will smell amazing!
Next, strain out the herbs. We don’t want any plant matter remaining in the tea to clog up your sprayer. Peel an onion and add it to your blender with some of the tea to help with mixing. Throw in some raw garlic too for good measure. Blend this all up and add it along with the rest of the tea to your sprayer. Voila! Spray on vegetables and other plants as needed
So this doesn’t seem to kill the bugs as make them leave immediately and stay away. What’s great about it is you don’t have to worry about poisoning yourself or others with it. Also it WORKS! Secondly, it’s incredibly frugal and by reusing the same sprayer year after year you are decreasing your plastic waste. Sounds like a win/win for everyone!