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What to do about insects, bugs & pests

What to do about insects, bugs & pests

Whilst the Airgarden is less susceptible to insects, bugs and pests, they can still cause a few issues if left untreated.

So what do you need to be looking out for and what are the solutions? There are the most common suspects. 

Grasshoppers

What they look like

grasshopper

Damage they do

Solutions to fix

Homemade Garlic & Chilli Spray

  • 8-10 chillies finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed and cut roughly
  • 1 Tablespoon soap flakes
  • 1 Litre boiling water
  • Combine in a glass jar and set aside for 24 hours.
  • Strain and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Use within 2 weeks 

Aphids

What they look like

   

Damage they do

Solutions to fix

Home made horticultural oil

  • 2 cups of vegetable oil + ½ cup of dishwashing detergent. Shake together in a jar, where the mixture will turn a milky colour.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of this concentrate to a litre of water and it's ready to spray.
  • This controls most insect pests, including scale, aphids, white fly, leaf miner, mealy bug and mites.

Caterpillars

What they look like

Damage they do

Solutions to fix

All-round insecticide

  • Chop four large onions, two cloves of garlic, and four hot chillies.
  • Mix them together and cover with warm, soapy water and leave it to stand overnight.
  • Strain off that liquid and add it to five litres of water to create an all-round insecticide.

Yates natures way caterpillar killer

  • Once a caterpillar eats treated foliage, it stops eating but may take up to 3-4 days to die and drop from the leaf.
  • DO NOT spray when conditions are hot, or when soil is dry and plants are suffering from moisture stress. the best time to apply is in late afternoon.
  • Respraying at 5 – 7 day intervals may be needed as more caterpillars hatch or under rainy conditions.
Soap spray
  • Add two tablespoons of soap flakes to one litre of water and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved. There is no need to dilute this further, just spray it on as is.

Beneficial Companion Plants to Repel Pests

With 30 growing spots in your Airgarden, there is plenty of space to add some edible pest repelling plants to protect the more vulnerable favourites you might be trying to grow.

According to Gardening Australia:

“Pest controlling plants come under two categories - those that repel or confuse insects with strong scent, such as sage, oregano, lavender and basil, and those that attract beneficial insects, such as dill and fennel. These plants often have flowers or foliage that attract insects that prey on other pests in the garden.

Pest repellant plants actually work in three different ways. The first; masking plants - include thyme, lavender and scented geranium. These produce strong, volatile oils and scent that actually masks the plants the insects might be looking for.

There are also repellant plants such as cotton lavender or santolina, tansy and wormwood. These plants produce a scent or taste that is so bitter or putrid it drives insects away. 

Finally, there are plants that contain natural toxins or poisons which can be used to make sprays or washes. These include fennel, which can be used as a flea repellent for animals, feverfew, or chamomile, which can be used as an antifungal agent, and the dried flower of pyrethrum or chopped chilli, which can be used as insect sprays.”

 

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