Sunday, May 01, 2016

Little white things and black soot

Zote is a non-detergent natural soap

The last time I did this it was on tomatoes and white flies. Didn't have much luck. I have no tomatoes now but my limes are really suffering. Little white things that look like eggs, black soot on most leaves and some leaves are curling unnaturally. What worries me is you are supposed to spray both sides of the leaves and my trees are a tightly packed maze of branches. My pruning so far has only been to cut the suckers that shoot straight up.

So I pulled out what was left of my last batch, ran it through a strainer and added water in a gallon bucket. Then I put the bar of soap in and will leave it over night. All sites say a 1% solution so I may need to make this a 3-gallon batch. How the heck do you measure 1%. Liquid soap like Dr. Bronners would be easier.

Homemade Insecticidal Soap Recipe Variations

Like any other home remedy, there are as many variations on this recipe as there are gardeners! You can also try:

Diluted Solution: If the spray causes damage or burns your plant foliage, cut the amount of soap in half and try a 1% solution. This is the concentration usually found in commercial sprays. The lighter solution might be less effective but is gentler on plants.

Cooking Oil: To help the solution stick a little longer, add two tablespoons of light cooking oil (such as corn, canola, olive, or safflower) per gallon of water to the mix.

Vinegar: To make a spray that also targets powdery mildew, add a teaspoon of cider vinegar per gallon of water to the mix.

Garlic or Pepper: To help repel chewing insects, add a teaspoon of ground red pepper and/or garlic per gallon of water to the mix.

Bar Soap: For a less-exact recipe, drop a bar of pure soap (such as organic bar soap or Ivory) into a gallon of water and leave it overnight. Remove the bar and shake well before spraying.


The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

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