Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade White Oil


Oh, how boring housework is! I try to be a little Pollyanna about it, and I truly am glad about so many things - I finally have a lovely house to clean, which is more fun than cleaning a renovation-in-progress, I have a happy, healthy family who are often even appreciative of my efforts, I love the state-of-cleanliness that prevails for oh, several minutes after the house is clean, and I am truly grateful that I have a roof over my head to start with... but, oh dear, I do not find the joy in cleaning AT ALL.

So I bribe myself to get things done. Luckily, I am easily amused, and seriously, every job in the garden is a hundred times more fun than any inside.. yesterday, after doing all the tedious dusting and vaccuuming, I got to experiment with homemade white oil.

I have two lovely apple trees which I planted the year before Posy was born, which makes them about nine years old. They are beautiful in every season, and produce delicious apples which are ridden with codlin moth, so that you can never eat one off the tree in case of a nasty surprise, and I mostly have to cut them up to cook with. So this is the year that I am attacking the hungry hordes with science. My personal gardening guru, Peter Cundall recommends four or five applications of white oil from petal fall, every ten days for apple trees to smother the wretched little creatures' eggs. Also citrus - there is some pesky little white fly thing on my lemons, laying eggs everywhere, and also scale causing sooty mould. Solution - white oil every ten days, three applications during spring.

Here is the recipe - it is SO simple, so non-toxic that it doesn't matter if you are a klutz like me and spill things everywhere.

White Oil Recipe

Shake one cup vegetable oil and a quarter cup washing up liquid in a jar. It will become immediatley obvious why it is called white oil.
Label, store in a cool place for up to three months.
Dilution rate: two tablespoons per litre of water.

It works by smothering pests, so spray under leaves where they hide. It is lots of fun to use a pressure sprayer, because you get a continuous spray, and you can spray really high into the canopy!

In approximately four months there will be a review and star rating... has anyone else used this to effect in the garden?

Initial thoughts: more fun than vaccuuming...



2 comments:

e / dig in said...

i need to try this. i was lazy a few weeks ago and just sprayed aerosol cooking oil (canola, home brand) on some nasties, but i'm not sure if it really worked.i must admit i love spraying aphids with pyrethrum; i drown them or blast them off the roses as much as poison them. i HATE aphids!!

i can't eat apples straight off the tree either :-(

Jo said...

If you had told me that it works, I would have immediately switched to baking spray. What fun! I'm not sure my method works either. I'm trusting the lovely Peter on this one..

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