While it's still cool outside and the insects and fungi are not out of control yet, I thought it would be a good idea to start planning for them.
One of my 2007 gardening magazines featured the organic garden of Master Gardener Martha MacBurnie. The best part of the article was that Martha shared her 3 favorite natural plant remedies. Her main remedy is aspirin water, which I used sporadically last year. Martha describes her plants looking like they were "on steroids" from using the aspirin water. Well, this year I'm committed to at least try to use this on a regular schedule. If I can find all the other crap that goes into her concoctions I'll try those too. Martha says that the combination of these 3 remedies keeps her garden looking great.
Dissolve 325 mg aspirin in 1 teaspoon vinegar, then mix with 1 gallon water. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons yucca extract for better dispersion. Spray on plants regularly to boost their natural immune systems (treat entire garden every three weeks.)
Dissolve 325 mg aspirin in 1 teaspoon vinegar. Combine it with 2 to 4 tablespoons neem oil, hot pepper wax, garlic and yucca extract plus 1 gallon water.
To 1 gallon water, add 2 tablespoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons of one or more of the following: Eco E-Rase (blend of jojoba and jojoba seed oil), yucca extract and mild dish detergent. Hose off leaves first to dislodge spores, then spray with the fungicide brew (weekly, or after extended rainy periods). It's also effective against soft-bodied insects and white fly.
So this sounds awesome, right? But the trouble is that I can't find a place to buy yucca extract, neem oil, hot pepper wax and E-rase (jojoba oil) besides way over in California at Peaceful Valley.
I'll also be using my compost tea that has been collecting in the container below my Enviorcycle composter as soon as I can get up the nerve to pour it out. I'm afraid its gonna smell really bad and activate my gag reflex. I was reminded of compost tea over at Colleens About.com Organic Gardening. She's got tons of great information over there so check it out if you haven't already.
So, if you are the blue water type, why not try the aspirin water? It'll be fun - we can compare notes!