Are you sick and tired of your plants being attacked by creepy crawlies? I bet you feel that trying to catch them is like running a race at the Olympics, every time you go out to inspect, they’ve beaten you to the plants. Instead of spraying them with chemical insecticides, give them a does of my favourite spice. It’s not only great in the cooking, it’s even better at stopping caterpillars and grubs crawling up and down plant stems and tree trunks.
Making Garlic Oil
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
1 garlic clove
Pour boiled water into a bowl. Crush the garlic clove and add it to the water. Leave to sit overnight, covering with a plate or lid. The next day, strain out the garlic chunks. Pour the vegetable oil and garlic water into a small bucket and mix well. Apply the garlic oil using a paintbrush. Stroke the trunk of plants in an up-and-down motion, going as close to the ground as possible. Apply garlic oil to the plant’s trunk or stem once a week to stop caterpillars and grubs in their tracks.
It’s very common throughout Greece to find tree trunks painted with whitewash. Whitewashing your plants prevents fungal disease developing, heat injury to trunks, invasion by bark borers and insects laying eggs under the bark. Whitewash is made with hydrated lime and can be brushed on tree trunks a couple of times a year. Timing between applications will depend on how thickly it is applied.
How to make Whitewash Paint
½kg hydrated lime (builder’s lime)
1 plastic bucket
Mix the hydrated lime and water with the paintbrush. The consistency should be thick and creamy, just like Greek-style yogurt. Paint tree trunks from the bottom up. Apply a second coat if required. Repeat application in 3–6 months.