Sometimes it’s the smallest things that cause the biggest problems. Whether you have a backyard garden, some marijuana plants on a window sill, or a 100 acre hemp farm, insects, bugs, and pests can be a constant source of mental, and even financial, stress. It is only natural to want to keep these critters and other diseases off your precious plants, but combatting them doesn’t mean resorting to unnatural methods.
Sure, there are tons of chemicals and sprays that can certainly kill off those invaders, but why risk contaminating your plants at the same time with potentially dangerous poisons when there are natural and organic methods you can use that are much healthier for you and the planet.
Wash Away Plant Pests with Soap
That’s right, soap. If bugs have already gotten to your marijuana plants or hemp farm and are causing havoc and eliminating them is your only option, you don’t need to look any further than soap. By mixing just a teaspoon of any natural dish or castile soap with a quart of water in a spray bottle, you’ve got a powerful weapon against most pests.
This works because soap has fatty acids that wear away at insect’s shells, and eventually cause them to perish. If you’re looking for a quick and cheap solution that you can implement today, it would be hard to find a better solution than this.
Protect Your Plants with Pepper and Garlic
They may not technically be vampires, but pests do have a few things in common with these fictional monsters. For one, they both prey on healthy hosts, but more importantly both can’t stand the stench of garlic. By dicing up a hot pepper and bulb of garlic, blending them together with a cup of water, and straining out the liquid into a spray bottle, you’ve got yourself a repellant strong enough to keep even Dracula out of your cannabis.
Any hot pepper will work, such as black pepper, chili pepper, dill, and even ginger or paprika. The important part is that whatever you use contains capsaicin, which is responsible for their hot flavor. Combine this mixture with the soap spray for double the effectiveness!
Hone the Power of Coffee and Beer
Hold on, let me explain before you raise your pitchforks at the mere mention of wasting either of these precious beverages. Coffee grounds are another amazing repellant, but work on more than just bugs. If you have to deal with other invaders like slugs, but also some larger plant predators like cats and deer, coffee grounds are your solution.
As for beer, it turns out that snails and slugs may like it just as much as humans do. But wait, why would we use something the pests like? To entice them away from eating your plants, of course. By playing bartender for these hungry little fellows you can draw them away from damaging your garden.
Add More Plants
When your cannabis plants are at risk, sometimes the best solution is more plants. Not the same plants, mind you, but specific plants that naturally ward off certain pests and insects. For example, catnip can help repel aphids, radishes can keep beetles at bay, and sunflowers are amazing at distracting pests to them instead of your more valuable plants.
Then there are the herbs that emit aromas to keep a huge array of pests away. Yarrow, citronella, mint, fennel, lemongrass, lavender, and basil are some of the most potent for not only deterring many of the most common pests, but have the added bonus of also attracting some of their natural predators.
Some gardeners and farmers may have resigned themselves to one of two unfortunate realities: either they have pests or must resort to toxic chemicals to keep them away. In reality, there are plenty of ways to keep pests, large and small, away that are totally natural and healthy for your plants. Simple household soap is just as effective at eliminating insects as any chemical, and from there, tons of options exist to keep new pests from moving in.
If you don’t happen to have some of these ingredients, they are far cheaper than the chemical equivalents, plus can even enhance your garden if you choose to incorporate some new plants for their natural properties in repelling different invaders.
Check out our Integrated Pest Management Grow Guide for additional intervention methods.