grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Assembling My Organic Arsenal

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.

Aspirin Water
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.)

Insecticide Brew
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.

Fungicide Brew
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 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!


  1. What a great post, i will definately be trying out the aspirin water.

    Over her in England we can get Yucca extract and jojoba oil(hoping it will work like E-rase) in the health food stores,as it is used as a health supplement.Still trying to find where i can get neem oil and hot pepper wax.

    My plants had a mildew problem last year so i'm hoping if i can get them looking like the "incredible hulk," the mould won't stand a chance this season!

  2. Great post! I'm going to have to try the aspirin sprays--haven't used them before. I haven't been able to find hot pepper wax anywhere either, but I have a couple of small local nurseries nearby that carry neem oil.

  3. Marion in SavannahJune 1, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Don't worry about your compost tea. When I emptied my Envirocycle (don't you just LOVE the thing?!) I didn't find that the tea was all that different smelling than the contents of the drum. And at least to me the compost smells lovely -- like a day in the woods. (Well, there was that time I put in too many coffee grounds all at once and it smelled like Starbucks for about a week...)