Friday, June 4, 2010

Tomato Plant; Leaf-Miner Home-Brew Tonic

Here in my Florida garden my tomato plants suffer greatly from leaf-miner bugs. These little buggers eat the leaves from the inside and can reduce the plants production.

I have been using Safer Spray and that sort of works but the 2-3 applications per week during the season gets expensive.

This year I used a common home-brew formula. Its Murphy’s Oil Soap, Vegetable Oil and Water applied with the standard trigger sprayer. I re-use the Safer trigger spray bottle and it works fine.

So far this year, this home-brew formula is working great, much better than the commercially made killers. It’s also much cheaper and I plan to continue using it.

The formula is:
1/4 cup Murphy’s Oil Soap
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 gallon of Water
Shake to combine

Fill the spray bottle and spay the Tomato plant leaves both top and underside. The under side is most important.

I haven’t noticed separation of ingredients while the solution sits on the shelf between applications but it would be wise to shake a few times before use.

If you have a number of plants then you may want to use a 2 gallon size pressurized garden sprayer because it holds more solution and it’s a lot easier than squeezing a trigger sprayer. I added a 90 degree bend to the sprayer tube just before the spray head. This bend makes spraying upwards and under the leaves where the bugs are much easier. You still can easily rotate the spray wand 360 degrees by spinning the wand shaft and the trigger connection to face any direction you need.


  1. “When I was a kid I couldn’t wait until I got older! - What the hell was I thinking!”

    I thought exactly the same and now think exactly the same "...What the hell I was thinking!"

    Thanks for such a great blog! It's extremelly helpful!

  2. how often do you apply?

  3. As soon as I see them the first time at least every weekend and usually in the middle of the week until they slow down. They are buggers here.


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