How to Make Aphid Spray

Every gardener hates some pest, be it slugs, snails or children's footballs (the pest having kicked them through your greenhouse). Top of the greenhouse pests though has to be aphids, these sap sucking buggers (and it's the only way to describe them without dragging up far worse swear words) will destroy a plant in days. This constant leaching of nutrients from the plant results in a weakened immune system in the plant and eventually disease takes hold. Aphids also multiply quickly, not only are they plant vampires but they are randy plant vampires but fear no more there is a quick way to kill them and you more than likely have everything you need in the kitchen cupboard. So, in the time honoured Pig Row way, here's a before of those aphids feasting on our chillies and how we tackled it by making our own aphid spray.

How to make aphid spray with what you have in the kitchen

And, and after they have been sprayed is below. You will notice a lot of black dots, these are dead aphids, the spray mix suffocates aphids and greatly diminishes their chances of being randy.

Make your own aphid spray killer for pennies

You will need a one litre spray, some washing up liquid and chilli powder (the latter is optional but the chilli does irritate and scorch them).

How to kill aphids

To one litre of tap water add one teaspoon of detergent and quarter teaspoon of chilli powder. Mix thoroughly before use. The detergent or chilli powder will make the water change colour. You can see in the photo above that our's has turned a copper colour. You now need to spray your plants every other day, we find it best to alternate with watering at this time of year, one day watering, one day spraying and not to do it during the mid-day sun. Your best bet is to spray first thing. Likewise, always water first thing and never do it before night, no plants likes to go to sleep with wet roots and foliage. After a week you will start to notice that the aphids on your plants are turning black. If your leaves fall off it means your detergent is too powerful but if the leaves where yellow to start with, this is damage from the aphids. Leaves will grow back, just use less washing up liquid - every washing up liquid is different, so experiment. It should take a fortnight to kill all the aphids as you will break their reproduction cycle. We advise to keep spraying for a month after this, but once a week and monitor if any aphids show up again. The cost for this spray is minimal, we had the one litre sprayer which cost around £1.50 (and which we can use for years to come), the washing up liquid cost 1p (in terms of a teaspoon and we doubt it was that) and the chilli powder was around £1.40 but again we use this for meals too and it is optional. The whole spray, including water bills, probably cost 25p to mix up excluding the sprayer. The mix lasts for around three weeks.

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