Vegetables growing, what natural fungicide or pesticide have you tried?

Wondering what type of treatment for your vegetables plant have you used? Was it effective?

Has anybody tried the mix of neem oil with water spray on vegetables? One forum I read, people sprayed on their tomatoes plants, and there were fruits damage and leaves curl. (Following the discussion, somebody suspected maybe the damage was due to the spray was done on a too hot day).

I would like to try on tomatoes (vs fungus) and strawberries (vs unknown insects leaving lots of holes on the leaves).

I use this,


Rec by a farmer friend.

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This is very timely. I am having no luck controlling aphids with neem oil solution or a homemade insecticidal soap solution on my cucumbers and lettuce. I am having some luck controlling powdery mildew on the cukes with a whey/water solution. Any aphid advice would be appreciated.

Savon noir should be useful (on roses in my case), reduce the population if not totally get rid of them, but you need to spray at lease every 2 or 3 days. The most effective way, to use a water hose to get rid most of them, kill the remaining everyday you see them with hand. Yeah disgusting, I know, put on gloves…

Aphids problem usually comes with ants, getting rid of ants might help too.

Not a good option on a balcony. Which I should have specified was where the plants are. I googled Savon Noir and got a fancy body soap. Is that what you use on your plants?

There are 2 types of savon noir. Although they are similar in color and texture, they do not have the same composition. The savon noir for body care is made from an olive paste (crushed olives and macerated olives) in salt and potassium (olivate potassium). It is found in the form of a soft paste of a brown more or less dark. Savon noir as household soap, is composed of potash and and fatty substance, olive oil, linseed oil, glycerine … It is the second one you should look for.

I think an equivalent is insecticidal soap.

Ah, thanks. I’ve used the Vila recipe. It was not that effective for me.

I’ll have to give that a go - I’m seeing signs of powdery mildew on my pumpkins.

Since a few days, I start to notice some powdery mildew appearing on leaves, probably due to a sudden dip of temperature last week. (It didn’t rain for a long time.) I tried my best to get rid of infected leaves (very early stage), but new ones with spots appear in a speedy manner. I just sprayed this (see below) today on my 40 tomatoes, for prevention, I also treated the melon and the chili. In the past, I have used copper in the past, but since it is quite toxic (even it is still considered as organic), I tried to minimise the use to yearly treatment, like peach tree, olive tree etc.

Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) - This is possibly the best known of the home-made, organic solutions for powdery mildew. Although studies indicate that baking soda alone is not all that effective, when combined with horticultural grade or dormant oil and liquid soap, efficacy is very good if applied in the early stages or before an outbreak occurs.

Use this recipe to make your own solution—mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of dormant oil and one teaspoon of insecticidal or liquid soap (not detergent) to a gallon of water. Spray on plants every one to two weeks.

From here, this page lists several treatment:

GreenCure Fungicide is potassium bicarbonate-based, no wonder it is working well.

Well, those organic solutions are effective if your problem isn’t serious. If time permits, I find getting rid of them daily by hand is the best way (next to chemical treatment, which is extremely effective and the treatment last for at least 2 months on my roses.) My neighbours have tried using ladybug larvaes eating the aphids, unfortunately they become ladybugs too quickly and won’t stay long enough.

I do remove the aphids by hand, but it’s time consuming and a little gross. I’m seriously considering trying to find some ladybugs to kidnap (bugnap?).

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Some garden centers sell ladybugs and praying mantis

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There aren’t too many garden centers in Manhattan - only one big one, that I know of, and it doesn’t stock ladybugs. I did look online, and I can buy 1500 for about $6 (right price, too many ladybugs) or a growing kit for $25 (too much money). Once the heat subsides, I’m going on ladybug safari.

Ah… didn’t realize that’s where you are located.

Ladybugs aren’t that great an option for a balcony garden either. They fly away. I tend to agree with naf about the soapy water being a more effective, if tiresome, solution for aphids.

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Oh, well. I guess I’ll keep trying the insecticidal soap, despite its apparent futility. At least I’ll feel like I’m doing something.

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I gave up growing lots of vegetables because of aphids and flea beetles. Lots of farmers recommended insecticidal soap to me. I tried everything you did, as well as nematodes (i think that was for flea beetles) and many other solutions. As for cukes mildew, I also gave up on those, too. It seemed like it was working at first, but then it didnt. The master gardener at our local farmers market told me it was probably because I planted the cukes too early or I used the wrong fertilizer. If you find solutions, please post back. I know how exhausting it can be to weed by hand and try to “naturally” maintain a garden, and mine still doesn’t look great. Sometimes I think I should just spray Seven and RoundUp and call it a day.

Curious, what fertiliser did your master gardener suggest?

Good to know. I checked my plants this morning and they look okay, but we got a TON of rain this morning and it’s supposed to be humid for the next few days, I think. A spritz of baking soda and dishwashing liquid can’t hurt - I can mix it with Deer-off and kill two birds with one stone!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold