Have you got a problem? Do what you can where you are with what you’ve got.
Every now and then a random conversation will spark an idea for a blog post. Yesterday I mentioned that liquid kelp is a valuable and nutrient rich fertilizer for plants to a vegan friend who was searching for an alternative to animal-based fertilizers. That got me to thinking about the organic solutions I use created from other plants and used as fertilizers and preventatives. The best time to spray plants is in the cool early morning or late afternoon. Always test the spray on a few leaves first, if there’s no negative reaction, treat the entire plant. Julia, these are for you!
- Liquid Kelp (or seaweed) is valuable in starting seeds, preventing damping off and makes a nutrient rich foliar spray for indoor and outdoor plants. The plants’ leaves and roots store the nutrients so apply only 3x a season: at the seedling stage, upon setting plants out and at the blossoming stage.
- Compost Tea: Used like manure tea only it’s made from your own kitchen compost. To make simply put 2 c. of compost into a mesh bag, old pantyhose, sock etc. and place into 1 gallon of water. Let steep for 48 hours. For large outdoor gardens put two shovel-fulls of compost into a large container and fill with water. Let sit 48 hours before using.
- Damping off: Chamomile Tea used to treat the soil when starting seeds will prevent damping off.
- Powdery Mildew: Horsetail tea (yes, horsetail that horrible invasive weed!) can be used effectively against powdery mildew on vegetables. A few dried leaves mixed into a gallon of water and allowed to steep for a day will make a concentrate that needs to be diluted before use. Mix 1 part tea to 5 parts water for use as a foliar spray.
- Downey Mildew: Chive spray. Chopped chives simmered in hot water for a few minutes and strained will make an effective foliar spray for cucumbers and winter and summer squash. It also helps to repel chewing insects.
- Black Spot: Apple cider vinegar (about 2-3 Tbsp.) mixed into a gallon of water and sprayed on roses will treat leaves affected by black spot.
There are many more. It’s worth taking a little time to read and research natural organic methods to use in the garden as preventatives and solutions to problems. It’s just as easy to mix up an herbal foliar spray as it is a harmful, synthetic concentrated one. The big difference is your health, the health of your garden and the beneficial organisms living in it. For more solutions visit the concoctions page. Green and easy!