I get a few requests a year for this recipe, so here you go. It’s not a cure-all, but I’m very careful about what I put on my plants and soil. I’d rather lose a plant or two rather than spray chemicals heavily. You might need to adjust amounts depending on how strong your concentrate is. Don’t add too much soap. It will damage the leaves of your plants.
Pepper & Garlic Garden Spray
4 large cloves garlic, crushed (a few tbsp of garlic powder works in a pinch)
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes (fresh hot peppers would work as well)
1 quart hot water
Liquid dish soap (I use Bio-Kleen)
Add garlic and hot pepper to a quart mason jar. Add hot water. Steep overnight or up to a day. Strain. In sprayer, mix one part concentrate to three parts water. Add a few drops of dish soap per quart of spray. Swirl to mix. Store concentrate and spray in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Label!
Garlic is a fungicide and paired with the pepper makes the plants taste bad to insects. The small amount of soap helps the spray stick to plants and will dry out the exoskeleton of any insects directly sprayed. Spray is only effective for a few days and will need to be reapplied after rain. My garden is small enough that that’s no biggie.