Rhubarb doesn’t just taste delicious, the leaves of the plant can also provide a natural pesticide for your garden.
Although this pesticide should not be used on edible crops, I thought I would still include this recipe since you can use your edible crops to help out the rest of your garden.
When harvesting Rhubarb for crumbles, cakes and preserves, make sure you trim off all of the leaf of the plant. Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of a poison called oxalis acid which can be fatal if consumed.
But don’t be too quick to throw them away.
Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective, organic pesticide which works well to control leaf eating pests and it is extremely simple to make.
Before you get started on creating your own organic pesticide, I must mention that you should not use this solution if you have dogs. They may be attracted to the soap in the solution and licking it may be fatal.
To Make Rhubarb Leaf Pesticide:
What You’ll Need
- An old pot, stirring spoon that won’t be used again for food preparation.
- A clean bucket and a spray bottle.
- Dish detergent or soap flakes – do not use laundry detergent
- Storage jar or bottle
- Trim the stalks from the leaves. Wear rubber gloves if you are concerned about the toxins in the leaves.
- Put the leaves into the pot.
- Bring the leaves to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain the solution into a clean bucket.
- Discard the leaves in your compost – yes they are fine in there.
- Pour the strained solution into a spray bottle.
- Add 1 tspn of the detergent.
- Label as ‘POISON’.
- Store the rest of the solution in a clean bottle or jar.
- Wash up the pot and utensils and store them away from where they might be used for food preparation.