Making your own eco-friendly spray for the garden

Although we at Onya Innovations are loathe to kill any living creatures, sometimes it's just a necessity, especially if you're trying to grow your own organic crops in your back garden. Pests such aphids, locusts and slugs can ruin a good harvest, but don't reach for that industrial pesticide – it's full of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment, especially seeing as it can endure for several years -contaminating soil, air and any ground water. 

Instead, why not use an organic, natural pesticide that will keep those pesky creepy-crawlies at bay? It is easy to make and is completely eco-friendly – your garden will grow unhindered, bearing you a fine crop that you can make into a picnic, carried in your reusable bag.

Though there are many different eco-friendly sprays that can be concocted, some tailored towards specific pests, and this particular one is great all-rounder that will deal with most of the critters that enjoy chewing on your succulent lettuce leaves or boring a hole through that prize giant pumpkin. Aphids, mites, white flies and the molluscs (slugs and snails) will all succumb to this spray in a quick, painless manner.

Firstly, find an empty spray bottle with a nozzle and rinse it out thoroughly – you don't want any chemicals that may have been in the bottle to become part of your eco-friendly spray.

  • Take 1.5 tablespoons of biodegradable liquid handwash. 'Biodegradable' should be clearly labelled on the bottle – oil or castile soaps work best. Place the measure of hand wash into your spray bottle.
  • Dilute the soap by filling the bottle with water, leaving two or three centimetres free at the top.
  • Add a fair few squirts of orange or lemon essential oil – it's a natural insecticide, a deterrent to many bugs, and will help your mixture stick to the leaves of your plants for a longer period of time, increasing its longevity and effectiveness.
  • Completely spray your plants and other crops, ensuring you don't miss the underside of the leaves, where many pests love to hide.

For extra strength, you could try adding pepper or garlic to your concoction – both are excellent natural insect repellents. In addition, garlic is also a deterrent to larger creatures such as rabbits, hedgehogs and deer, without actually being dangerous to them. Just include an extra tablespoon of chilli powder to the mix, or even crushed and dried peppers if you have any spare. Crush five cloves of garlic, slice them up, then allow them to steep overnight before adding them to the mixture.