If you grow tomatoes then you will know all about picking out the side shoots. But what do you do with them? They are really easy to pot on for extra plants but did you know you can make a organic aphid spray from the leaves?
Aphids are a pain in the backside for gardeners, especially veggie gardeners, as spraying your beautiful crops with awful insecticides feels like some kind of biological war. It’s also worrying when you read on the backs of the containers do not eat the vegetables after use, or keep away from children and animals. Leaves you thinking what have I just squirted on my families food!
Well here is a little spray that might just help you if your troubled with an aphid infestation, it natural and uses up things you are growing already, without any extra expense. Even if your not growing tomatoes, you may well know a friend who is.
Tomato leaf spray.
As you probably know tomatoes come from the nightshade family, a family which usually contains toxic compounds in their leaves etc. In the case of the tomato they are found in their leaves, stems and unripened fruit. These compounds are known as tomatine alkaloids.
When you chop up and add water to your tomato leaves the alkaloids are transferred into the ‘tea’ enabling you to spray on to infected crops to kill those pesky sap sucking pests. Here’s the best bit, it’s not harmful to you or your plants. It’s so easy to make too
A couple of handfuls of tomato plant leaves
Two cups of water in a container
Something to strain it through, cheese cloth, pair of old tights etc.
Then a spray bottle.
Extra two cups of water to dilute slightly.
Simply shred the leaves into small pieces, throw into the water and give a good stir and leave over night to infuse.
Next day pour the liquid into the spray bottle and wring out the leaves to get all the liquid possible add the extra water and spray away! Make sure you get under the leaves of an infected plant since that’s where these pests hide and do most damage. I would say if you suffer from allergies connected with the nightshade family take extra care making and spraying this, and never let your dog chew on a tomato plant as they are toxic to our fury friends!