This year we're trying something new - pyrethrum spray. Anyone familiar with using this? Our local gardening store suggested it as an alternative to chemical pesticides but warned that it is very potent...and that fruits or vegetables should be washed well. I've actually read that you can make your own solution, and started some pyrethrum seeds [purchased from Nichols Garden Nursery] but so far they are slow coming along. Another suggestion came from a neighbor that lives down the road. To combat ants and aphids, he makes a solution of stinging nettle - ortica - and water. The mixture is left to sit for 10 days before using in a spray application. In his opinion this works even better than pyrethrum - we shall see!
Lastly, I recently learned of one other remedy that makes it sound as if your garden might be the victim of vampires. Our favorite supermarket distributes monthly pamphlets that usually includes a score of timely articles, and this month focused on a garden's hidden enemies. One suggestion for roses prone to aphid problems was to plant garlic bulbs next to the bushes or in the vases. To combat red spider mite, make an infusion of 10 grams minced garlic to one liter of water. Spray this solution onto the infested plants during the day when there is no rain or wind. We're going to test this. Sounds like a gardener's version of holy water - I just wonder if it'll add extra flavor to the plants!
Average daytime temperature: 16°C / 61°F