Homemade Insecticidal Soap Recipe

Insects are one of life’s greatest nuisances and when it comes to repelling them from your garden, prevention is often the best remedy. However, it isn’t uncommon to find that the majority of insect repellant’s contain harmful chemicals that make them unsuitable for use, as well as dangerous for the environment. There are a number of pests that may try to make your new garden their home, however it’s often desirable to encourage friendly pests and critters to reside in your garden as well. Some of the most common garden pests include: aphids, borers, earthworms, maggots, mites, white flies, moths, and beetles. Using homemade insecticidal soap allows the gardener to control where the soap is sprayed, without placing other plants or insects in harm’s way. Also, the insecticidal soaps are often less toxic than commercially prepared insecticides.

You can create your own homemade insecticidal soaps by blending soaps and water. Some of the most preferable types of soap to use include liquid soaps purchased from health food stores. These soaps are desirable, as they don’t have any added preservatives or chemicals. However, you can create your own insecticidal soaps using household dish washing liquid and water. When you consider the amount of natural herbs that repel insects, which could be added to your insecticidal soap, you soon realize that the combinations that you can create for your garden are virtually limitless.

The simplest soap recipe is to take two tablespoons of your household dish washing liquid and add it to one gallon of water. Simply mix thoroughly and spray on your plants where you see an infestation. You can add several drops of vegetable oil to help the soap bond to the plant as well. If you would like to make a smaller batch of the soap, for use indoors or on a smaller area outside, simply add between 1 and 1 1/2 teaspoons of dish washing liquid to one quart of warm water. You can put the mixture in a spray bottle to make application easier.

One recipe uses Murphy’s oil soap. To create the mixture add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Murphy’s Oil soap to 1 gallon of warm water. Castile soap is available in both health food stores and some department stores. You can create a very mild but effective insecticidal soap by combining a household remedy that treats scale insects is to add one cup of isopropyl alcohol to your gallon mixture of dish washing liquid and water. The alcohol will attack the scales shell and cause it to deteriorate.

If you prefer to use pure soap and not a liquid, you can try creating the same blends with these brands, Fels Naptha, Dr. Bronners, or Ivory. Herbs, that contain natural insect repellant properties, may be added your mixtures. It is a good idea to experiment with different combinations until you find the blend that best treats your garden pests. Some of the best herbs to add to your mixtures include Tabasco sauce, garlic, peppermint, and vinegar. By creating your own homemade insecticidal soaps you can rest assured that you are treating insects and protecting your plants while being kind to the environment.

Stuffed Tomato Recipe

Ingredients:

6 Large Tomatoes (beefsteak)
1 Green Pepper diced
1/2 cup cooked Rice
1/2 lbs ground beef
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp tomato paste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core all 6 tomatoes removing all seeds and pulp leaving a thick shell. (like you would with a pumpkin)
Combine cooked beef with the cooked rice in a frying pan. Add the diced green pepper, olive oil, salt and tomato paste. Heat over medium heat for 10 min.
Stuff with mixture and place tomatoes cut-side up on a glass cooking dish. Drizzle some olive oil on all tomatoes and Bake for 25 min or until tomatoes are hot.

Compost

It’s natures best fertilizer for your plants and lawn. Making compost is cheap and easy to do. It also has many benefits including stimulates root growth, improves aeration and increases the soils ability to hold water. Microorganisms feed on the compost which creates Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Most gardeners understand that a rich dark soil is the best for growing vegetables and growing flowers.

It can be made by simply adding grass clippings, leaves or almost any organic kitchen scrap and applying it to a composter or just simply adding it to the soil. Simply adding it to the soil will take longer to decompose. When adding scraps to a compost bin or to the garden, a ratio of 25 parts brown to 1 part green is recommended to speed up the decomposition process. Browns or “carbon-rich” materials include leaves and wood chips. Greens or “nitrogen-rich” materials include grass clippings and kitchen scraps. Chopping or shredding materials before adding them to your garden or flower bed help to decompose them quicker. Manure and seaweed can also be added to your bin or garden.

When the process is finished it is a dark brown and still may contain a few small pieces of material. Make sure not to add too much to the garden as it is mainly used as a soil conditioner.

At 155 degrees F compost will decompose about twice as fast as it would at 130 degrees F. This is why most gardener’s use compost bins. They are usually made of black plastic to increase the temperature. Moisture in the bin also increases temperature.

Test your soil

It will help you to see how much sand silt and clay it contains is quite simply.

Homemade Soil Test
Take a couple of cups of soil.
Put the soil in a large jar (1/3 of the jar)
Add 1/3 water
Shake the jar until the soil and water have mixed
Let the jar sit overnight to settle.

The next day you will see that the three elements have formed layers. Sand will be the bottom layer. Silt will be in the middle and Clay will be on the top.

Soil that has too much sand in it will not hold water.
With too much clay will not allow proper drainage

The best way to improve your soil is to add organic matter. If your soil has too much sand or silt try adding topsoil, peat moss and compost. If you feel your soil needs a little sand to help loosen it up, just add a bit. Adding to much will cause it to have a concrete effect. This is a great way to find out how to fix the quality of your soil which will increase the quality of whatever you are going to grow.