In HedgeWitchery, we try to be as safely organic as possible! This is good for you as well as the environment. To minimize predators in your magickal garden (and therefore extending into your life), try the following tips:
- Build a toad habitat: This is extremely easy to do. I took an old bird bath without the stand and placed it in the corner of the garden that had the most shade. Then break up several large clay pots and arrange the pieces in and around the bird bath. Fill the bird bath with water. That's it. You have your very own toad habitat. Keep the bird bath filled with water to encourage your toads to stay. I also decorated my toad habitat with toad statues and magickal gems, then planted chamomile nearby. Toads bring prosperity to any garden and eat a lot of nasty bugs! The average toad consumes about 15,000 bugs in a single year, and they love slugs!
- Erect a bat house: You can find these at garden supply stores. Each night, a bat can eat approximately six thousand pests per hour, with prime targets being mosquitoes, cutworms, cabbageworms, and beetles. Hang your bat house in a tree or on a pole at least fifteen feet above the ground. You can even decorate the outside of the house with magickal symbols.
- Hang a hummingbird feeder: Hummingbirds love red tubular flowers (trumpet vines draw them big time!). If you can't use a natural floral feeder, you can purchase one from your garden supply store along with the nectar mix. Hummingbirds eat tons of nasty insects. Some of their favorite flowers are lilies, snapdragons, and fuchsias.
- Plant hot peppers, radishes, and marigolds in your garden: Even if you don't eat hot peppers, the plants are natural deterrents to insects and garden predators. You can also use the juice from the hot peppers in a safe plant wash.
- Plants that attract good bugs: Asters, black-eyed susans, dill, lavender, mints, morning glories, sunflowers, and yarrow. Good bugs eat bad bugs and help to keep your garden healthy. You can pick up a list of good bugs for your planting zone at most reputable home and garden stores.
Last year, I incorporated all five of these natural ideas into my garden and backyard plans. As a result, I had little difficulty with bugs, even though it was a bad year for Japanese beetles and whiteflies. To remove the Japanese beetles, I erected a large bamboo broom twenty feet away from my garden and hung a Japanese beetle trap there, along with magickal runes for banishment. To remove the whiteflies/aphids, I used the following natural formula:
- Formula One (for Aphids)
I used this for my marigolds. Water plant before application. First, make garlic oil: mince one whole garlic bulb in a cup of vegetable oil. Put in a jar and cap tightly. Set in refrigerator for two to three days. Then, mix together in a spray bottle:
1 tablespoon garlic oil
3 drops liquid dish soap
1 quart water
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil
Test the formula on one plant. Wait 24 hours. If no damage, spray plants liberally.
- Formula Two (for Japanese Beetles)
I used this for my garden. Water plant before application.
1/2 cup dried cayenne peppers
1/2 cup dried jalapeño peppers
1 gallon water
Optional: substitute 1 cup of dried habana peppers for jalapeño and cayenne.
Boil water, add peppers, and simmer for thirty minutes. Keep the pot covered while simmering, as the steam is highly potent! Cool. Strain. Pour into spray bottle. Test formula on one plant. Wait 24 hours. If no damage, spray plants after every rain or once a week during the height of Japanese beetle season in your area.
- Formula Three
This is a general bug killer—I used this on my hostas. Water plant before application.
3 hot peppers
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
2 tablespoons peppermint essential oil
3 cups water
Purée peppers, garlic, and onion in blender. Add dish soap and water. Let stand for 24 hours. Strain. Pour in mister bottle. Test formula on one plant. Wait 24 hours. If no damage, spray plants.
Excerpted from HedgeWitch: Spells, Crafts & Rituals for Natural Magick by Silver RavenWolf