We’re getting close to the end of our series on control garden pests with organic methods. Today I want to share one using a natural chemical that has been purported to do everything from whiten teeth to heal cancer. I am talking about, you may have guessed, hydrogen peroxide.
Before I go on, I do want to emphasize that you would do best to avoid the everyday hydrogen peroxide that is found in any drug or grocery store, and the “health” sections of discount department stores like Target or Wal-Mart. The reason is that this hydrogen peroxide has traces of other toxic chemicals added to it, and is not the safest for internal consumption. Since you are going to be using it on plants you will eventually eat, purchase, instead, food-grade hydrogen peroxide. You can find 3% food-grade H2O2 at some health food stores, and higher concentrations of it at amazon.com.
Using hydrogen peroxide in the garden
Hydrogen peroxide can be used both to control existing insect pest populations and to prevent them. The reason is that the pests don’t like the extra oxygen – essentially, this naturally-occurring chemical helps promote optimal health in plants. Since you will be spraying your food, be sure to use food-grade H2O2 to avoid putting chemical preservatives on your plants.
To promote soil aeration, stop root rot or eliminate root pests, mix one part 35% hydrogen peroxide with ten parts water, and pour directly over the roots of the plant. Allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry, and apply again. A safer option, since 35% H2Ox can be dangerous to the skin, would be to buy and use 8% or 12% H2O2, and mix with two parts water.
To prevent pests, or to discourage pests already on the foliage, mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and spray the foliage thoroughly. Do this once a week for ongoing results.
This is one of the more invasive techniques for controlling garden pests, but it is much healthier than spraying toxic chemicals everywhere!
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