Pests are the bane of July’s produce and we must keep a keen eye out for the early signs of infestation. Since the produce is to be eaten, if pests are found, it seems sensible to use an organic spray solution.

A common homemade spray is a mix of mild soap and water sprayed on infected areas of plants. This is effective on aphids, whitefly, beetles and mites as the solution coats the pests’ bodies and suffocates them by blocking the pores through which they breathe.

Another effective spray solution is applying essential oils. Mix equal parts of thyme, peppermint, clove and rosemary oils together and add to water. Shake well and spray infested plants. It kills most garden pests, eggs and larvae. This solution also works well as an insect repellent for humans.

Both garlic and chilli are commonly used in organic pest control. To make a garlic spray, blend two bulbs of garlic with enough water to make a thick solution. Let it rest overnight then strain and add a small squirt of mild liquid soap and more water to loosen it. To use, dilute with water until the liquid is sprayable.

When making and using a chilli solution it’s worth wearing gloves and spraying carefully due to the potent heat of chillies. Mix a tablespoon of chilli powder with a litre of water and a squeeze of mild liquid soap.