Grasshoppers love sweet potatoes. They can hide in there and also feed on the leaves. You know you have a problem when your leaves are full of holes and when you disturb what leaves are left grasshoppers jump everywhere.

Chilli Garlic Spray revisited.

In an earlier post I showed how to make some chilli garlic spray. I have figured out a couple of new wrinkles in the way I make it, that seems to make it more effective.

Very simple revised instructions.

Get some chillis. I grow them mainly to make my spray. They are very easy to grow, either from seed or seedlings. If it is your first try it may be easier to start with seedlings. They like a very sunny location and when they get bigger some support.

Get some garlic. Again I grow my own, but eat more than I use for making sprays. Otherwise I buy some of the cheap Chinese garlic to throw into the spray mix.

You will also need some dishwashing liquid. Get some of the earth friendly stuff. A good article regarding insecticidal soaps and dishwashing liquids is at Colorado State University

The final ingredient is some vegetable oil. This acts as a sticker and helps the spray to adhere to the insects and the plants.

Preparing Your Spray

Throw the garlic and chillis in a container. Two litre ice cream containers work well. Plus every time I empty one I feel like James Brown as I have another container for growing seedlings in or making a brew of some sort. I definitely don’t feel guilty about knocking off 2 litres of ice cream.

Add Boiling Water

Steep the Chillis and Garlic in Boiling Water

Boil the jug and cover the chillis and garlicwith boiling water and let them steep overnight. In the words of HG, too many chillis is barely enough. (Just think, HG and Roy)

Next day throw them in the blender, nearly fill the blender with water and give them a good workout.


Then you need to filter them, otherwise you are going to keep clogging up your sprayer. The reason I have done this post is because I searched all over the place and located some filter bags to do the job. When they arrived, I had no excuse to not get the spray made.

Filter Bag

Nylon Filter Bag With Drawstring

Pour the mix into the filter bag and hang it over a clean bucket. It is advisable to wear some dishwashing gloves as the chillis can burn the skin. I don’t have much of a problem but if I squeeze the filter bag with bare hands I will get a burning, tingling sensation that is unpleasant and lasts for quite a while.

When pouring the mixture from the blender, the easiest way to do it is to have a round hollow tube that the bag will fit inside. Fold the top of the bag over the lip of the tube, container or bucket so that it holds the filter bag open, but doesn’t fall into the container. I learnt the hardway and had to clean up my mess. With the bag I had, I got a tin opener and cut the bottom off a 500g metal coffee can and used that as a support for my filter bag while pouring.

After I filtered the mix, I put the bag into my 15 litre sprayer with the bag opened over the mouth of the spray unit and then hosed water through it to fill the sprayer. This way I got an extra 15 litres of spray.

Adding Dishwashing Soap and Vegetable Oil

You don’t need to add a lot of either. The link above says about 2 – 3{cd07be7979728a86b172d4c3c193ee8254293b2598ced4c874c66a7b3dbba444} for the Soap and the oil is similar. So for me it is about 300ml of each. I only put about 70 ml of each in and it still seems to work. But I also want to make sure that I don’t harm the plants.

When to Spray

Early in the morning – that is before 7:30 am or late in the afternoon, at least an hour before sunset. You don’t want sprays and liquid on your plants in the hot sun and you don’t want wet plants heading into the night. The early start allows the plants to dry before the sun gets them too hot and the not too late afternoon allows the plants to dry before night falls.

If unsure do a small test sample area before a full blown garden spray.

Doing this on a regular basis will keep all your pests and bugs at bay.

 After Spraying

Use all the liquid in the sprayer. Clean your nozzle and little filter in the nozzle. You will appreciate having done this the next time you go to use the sprayer.

Wash your hands thoroughly after making the brew and spraying. Nothing worse than rubbing your eyes or lips after playing with this concoction. Not to mention going for a wee.