Organic gardening is becoming and increasingly popular pass time in each summer… and for good reason. It means growing your own food and not using chemicals that will harm your family. Honey from Honey’s Life shares with us today ways to identify the good guys from the bad guys and how to get rid of those bad insects without harming our family or using poisonous pesticides.
Organic gardening where natural pesticide are used is a garden full of varied life. It’s full of sounds, scents, colors…and lots of different bugs to discover and study. As we grow a garden for both the hands on learning opportunities and the healthy harvest that goes to feed our family I do not want chemicals that will wipe out all life because we happen to have aphids, grasshoppers or flea beetles.
Instead we use child safe, natural pesticides to treat our garden. The best thing about these natural pesticides (besides they’ll not cause your third eye to actually become a third eye) is they’re cheaper than chemicals, they’re safe to consume (but I don’t recommend it cause ew.), they’re more interesting and they are easily made at home! And, the super best part? Your kids can run around in the garden while they’re being used or even use them their self.
WHAT are these child safe Organic Gardening Pesticides and where do I find them?
You’ll find the ingredients in the pantry, the cabinet and the fridge. And, if not there…check the bathroom. You’re looking for…
- baking soda
- castille soap
- hot peppers
- epsom salts
And, the most important ingredients…
- helping hands
- curious minds
- a gaggle or pack of kiddos (those are technical terms so… 😉 )
Some buckets, a few 2×4’s, bowls, spray bottles with awesome misting ability, hose with spray nozzle and garden gloves if you need them.
Aphids, Flea Beetles and Such
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of castille soap
Add to a spray bottle, fill it with water, shake it up and mist it over any infested areas. It’ll dry them out and kill them. I like to plant trap crops for them though as well…I hate the misting.
Watch for ladybug larvae though as they GORGE their selves on aphids. They’re horribly ugly but…you love them not for their looks but the amazing deeds they do!
- castille soap
- someone to pick the caterpillars
Grab a bucket with a handle fill it with a half gallon of water and add a few drops of castille soap. Walk through the garden picking the caterpillars off the plants and drop them into the bucket. The soap breaks the surface tension so they drown. If you have chickens or ducks or pigs…or even a bird in the house don’t drown them. Use an empty bucket and pick them, give a shake/twist of the bucket so the caterpillar doesn’t crawl out. When you’re done or the buckets pretty full take them over and let the chickens and ducks after them. These pests will make your chickens healthier and will be a great treat for them. My birds go into a frenzy. I just dump them onto a square piece of wood and stand back.
**If you see a caterpillar with lots of white cocoons on it’s back…leave it be…a predatory wasp has laid it’s eggs and you want them in your garden.
These are the two recipes I use most in my garden. As you build a healthy system within the garden you can use these recipes and still involve the kids so they can have a healthy mind and body as they explore the garden. If you have any questions holler over!
Don’t forget to check out all of the other great posts for the Ultimate Earth Day Education Guide!
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living on a farm in New England. She believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience and has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development. She is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!