Every year I tuck a few rows of marigolds in the garden, and every year about this time they start to take over. But since marigolds are such a beneficial plant for garden pest control, it is no wonder that the trimmings also can be made into an easy to make and effective garden pest spray.
Marigold spray is easy to make and can be used to help control most any leaf chewer, especially tomato hornworms and asparagus beetles. I have even had some success with using it to deter squash bugs.
Here is how to make it:
- fill a blender or food processor with stems, leaves, and flowers. You can just cut the plant back and use all the parts in your spray.
- add 1-2 cups of water, so that you can easily puree it.
- let mixture set for about 24 hours.
- strain through a wire mesh or cheesecloth
- dilute further with 1-2 quarts of water
- add 1/4 -1/2 tsp of castile soap (or vegetable based soap, Dr. Bronners for example).
Another idea for using marigold cuttings is placing the cuttings around the base of tomato plants as a mulch, or if you have a lot, mashing them in a five gallon bucket with water, let it sit, then water your plants with it.
Written by Emma O’Connell, founder of Pick-A-Pepper.com
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