Witches Brews – insect sprays

Last year we had real problems with black fly infesting everything at the allotment.  We had been using an organic soap based spray but it was not cheap.  After a bit of research, we made some chilli spray.  I wrote about some of these ideas earlier and I have recent got a couple going.

The first is chilli with a hint of garlic – the idea is that insects and slugs don’t like hot spicy food.  We had a big bag of chilli de arbol in the cupboard and these are hot dried Mexican chillies. Its not a complex process to make the concentrate.  I have a small electric grinder that makes things very easy – put a handful of these hot little numbers in and blitz to a powder.  Mix them up in the jar with oil, crushed garlic and a couple of drops of washing up liquid with some water.  Shake and leave in the sun.

The second one is a new one – coffee and herbs.  If you look at woody herbs – lavender, rosemary and thyme etc – the leaves don’t get eaten. The caffeine in the coffee is a deterrent for lots of insects apparently.  So the same idea, grind up the herbs with oil and then add coffee, a few drops of washing up liquid and water.

These are now sitting in the greenhouse for a week or three, then I will strain and store in old vinegar bottles.

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