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Gardening Galore

This month I would like to cover some of the plants and other organic remedies that can be used for pest and disease control.

Basil is insecticidal, fungicidal and a repellent. Take 100 grams of leaves per litre of water, soak overnight, blitz it in a liquidizer, add a teaspoon of soft soap, filter and spray. Basil controls aphids, flies, caterpillars, mosquitoes, spidermites and seedbed pests.

Chives are also fungicidal, insecticidal and repellent. Recipes vary from 10 grams to 100 grams of leaves or peels per litre of water. Pound or crush and soak for a minimum of 4 days. Add soft soap, strain and spray. Controls aphids, mites, scale, ticks, whitefly.

Garlic is insecticidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, nematicidal and a repellent. Crush two cloves of garlic per litre of water, leave to infuse for a day or two, add soft soap, strain and spray. Controls ants, aphids, armyworm, beetles, caterpillars, moths, houseflies, mice, moles, mosquitoes, nematodes, termites, ticks and fungal and bacterial diseases.

Pawpaws are insecticidal, fungicidal and nematicidal. Add about 1 kg finely shredded leaves per litre of water, shake and stir well. Filter, add a further four litres of water, soft soap, two teaspoons of kerosene and mix thoroughly. Spray on plants. Controls aphids, caterpillars, nematodes, termites, rust, mildew, leaf spot and bugs in general.

Tomatoes are insecticidal, fungicidal, and repellent. Shred 1 kg of leaves, fruits, stems into two litres of water. Leave for half a day, filter, add soft soap and spray. Controls aphids, beetles, caterpillars, cockroaches, moths, flies, nematodes, whitefly and other bugs, fungal and bacterial wilt.

African marigolds are insecticidal, a contact poison, fungicidal, bactericidal, nematicidal and repellent. Crush 100 – 200 grams leaves, roots and flowers. Pour 1 litre boiling water over, soak for 24 hours. Filter, add a further litre of water and soft soap and spray. Water into the soil for nematodes. Controls a wide range of insects, ants, beetles, nematodes, fungal diseases and blight. Can also be planted as an intercrop to repel insects and nematodes.

Lantana is a contact poison. Crush a handful of leaves per litre of water and leave it to infuse. Strain, add soft soap (5 ml per litre) and spray on plants. Controls a wide range of insects and pests.

Chili is insecticidal and repellent. Crush or grind 2 handfuls of chilies, soak in one litre of water for a day. Shake well and filter. Add a further 5 litres water and soft soap. Spray. Controls most insects, fungi, bacteria and viruses.

All the above remedies can be mixed to give a broader spectrum of bugs killed or repelled.

Article By Peter Chalcraft. Peter is a horticulturalist who writes a monthly column in The Lowdown. Reproduced with permission are a series of articles that answer some of your gardening queries. Peter can also be reached by email at or by phone on 096 747-990.

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