new issue on salenow!
Miracle Molasses

Miracle Molasses

Story by

Molasses makes a handy addition to any gardener’s pest control kit. You can use it to manage chewing pests like caterpillars as well as root knot nematodes. PHIL DUDMAN describes how.

To make a spray that will control caterpillars, simply dissolve one tablespoon of molasses and one teaspoon of dish washing liquid (or pure liquid soap) into a litre of warm water. Let it cool then spray it regularly over the leaves, top and bottom. Chewing insects find the solution far too bitter and go elsewhere.

To control nematodes that attack the roots of tomatoes, potatoes, silver beet, carrots as well as lettuce and zucchini, dissolve one litre of molasses in four litres of warm water. Allow it to cool and drench the soil. A word of warning though… while this may kill the nematodes and save your crop, it will also kill some of the good guys in the soil like worms. Don’t use it long term, regard it more as a last resort quick fix. It’s important to adopt long-term strategies to control this pest. Increasing organic matter in the soil is a big one, so is practicing crop rotation to avoid a build up of the pest. Planting things like marigolds and mustard will help too, but they need to be chopped up and dug into the soil to be effective. It’s the gas they release as they break down that keeps nematode numbers low.