Gardening

Potassium soap: the natural pesticide that provides nutrients to the garden

The presence of pests can be a problem in our crops, from ornamental plants to fruit trees can be completely covered with aphids, mealybugs and other parasites. For this reason it is a relief to have a natural pesticide that does not contaminate fruits or plants and that can be obtained at an affordable cost such as potassium soap.

Whiteflies, aphids and mealybugs are some of the most frequent and unwanted visitors that we can have in the garden, as they adhere to our plants to extract all the sap from them, transmitting diseases from one plant to another and quickly undermining the yard.

In this sense, the agricultural market is full of insecticides, but most of them are toxic in the long term, contaminating the land, plants and even causing allergies to people or more serious diseases.

For this reason, we must be very careful with the treatments we use to combat pests in our garden and preferably use natural means to control them, such as potassium soap.

An effective but little known product

If you do not have a close relationship with gardening, you have probably never heard of potassium soap. This product is made up of three ingredients: water, lipids represented by some type of oil such as olive, canola, sunflower, among others, and potassium hydroxide. Its use is also known for domestic cleaning, especially as a powerful stain remover.

Because it is a biodegradable product, it does not pollute the environment, so it is a very efficient ecological insecticide in the early control of some common pests in our gardens, such as aphids, mealybugs, adelgids, whiteflies, red spider mite, among others.. In addition, due to its innocuousness, there is no problem applying it in places with pets and children.

On the other hand, when the insecticide degrades it becomes compost for plants, providing a source of potassium. But where to get it? You do not have to worry, because on any e-commerce platform such as Amazon you could get a product qualified as the best potassium soap (here you will find some purchase options), choose the presentation you need and without paying much because it is a product economic.

forms of use

Unlike sodium soap that solidifies and can be obtained in tablets, bars and other harder presentations, potassium soap is characterized by a soft consistency, so it is completely soluble in water and its main form of use is with preparation of liquid solutions.

Consequently, the preparation of potassium soap for pest control will depend on the presentation acquired. However, the most common is to prepare a 1 or 2% solution of this soap, that is, for every liter of water you can put 10 or 20 ml of potassium soap to obtain an ecological insecticide that you can spray on your plants when begin to show signs of plague.

Now, another way to enhance the effect of potassium soap is by making a mixture with the following ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • 96 proof alcohol
  • Potassium soap and water

What follows are a few simple steps that will not take you much time: first, you must heat the water a little so that when you add a tablespoon of soap, it dissolves completely in a few minutes. Once the soapy solution is prepared, you must add a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of alcohol.

Next, stir the entire mixture and let it rest for an hour. After this time your homemade insecticide will be ready to pour into a container with a sprayer so you can spray your plants.

This mixture will not cause damage to the leaves or the soil of your crops, so you can use it 3 to 4 times a month as a preventive method, trying to leave a week off. Other gardeners recommend applying it every 5 days until the pest is gone.

In this sense, it is important to note that this product is not as effective as other chemical insecticides that eliminate pests with just one application. However, its advantages are what make it the best option and we will detail them below.

Benefits of potassium soap

Its main advantage in organic farming is that it is not a systemic product, that is, it does not penetrate the plant or the fruit, so there is no safety period for collecting these when the potassium soap has been applied.

As for its effectiveness, this is produced by contact by softening the protective cuticle of pests, causing the invaders to suffocate without collateral damage to the plant or other positive insects, such as bees.

On the other hand, potassium soap also stands out for its cleaning power on the leaves of the plants, since it washes the molasses residues that are left by insects and that favor the appearance of bold, a fungus that affects the aesthetics of the plant.

Additionally, and as we mentioned at the beginning, this is a product of rapid absorption and when its main component, potassium hydroxide, degrades, plants absorb it as a natural fertilizer that favors their growth and reproduction. Likewise, potassium regulates the absorption of CO2 during the photosynthesis process, in addition to being an essential nutrient for the activation of the different enzymatic processes in the plant and protein synthesis.

With these data we can only affirm that potassium soap works effectively when an early detection of the pest is carried out and that its application must be done frequently to see optimal results with the reward that it is not a contaminating agent for the soil, the water, plants, much less people or pets.

So our recommendation is that you buy a good potassium soap, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual carefully and start making your homemade insecticide to take care of your plants from pests, keep their leaves clean and provide an extra supply of nutrients to your garden. You will see that in a short time your plants will thank you by looking stronger and more beautiful.

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