At this point, we all know that synthetic pesticides are bad for the environment. But what are the alternatives? One Tiktoker may have a solution, which she has broken down into a video that has gone viral, racking up 8.2 million views, over 1 million likes, over 159,000 reshares, and over 2,000 comments.
The video, uploaded by Sarah Murray (@shecooksorganic), is titled “Recipe my grandfather taught me for a pest-free garden and gardening.” Murray’s Tiktok bio states that she is a “Home Chef & Culinary Gardener” who provides “helpful gardening & cooking tips”.
The video begins with footage of a mixture of orange slices and zest in a large bowl.
“This is a recipe my grandfather taught me when he was a gardener. And it’s a natural pesticide,” Murray said in a voiceover. “You take oranges, orange zest – boil it on the stove in a pot for about 15-20 minutes and what you do is get the nutrients out of it, which is the calcium, magnesium, sulfur and nitrogen that is in the orange. orange.”
Murray then mashes the mixture with a potato masher and sifts the chunks and skin, saving them for later. The process leaves her with an orange concentrate, which she waters down before spraying it on her garden beds.
“I do this with my plants. That’s why they are so healthy and pest free. I put it on my tomato, different kinds of bean plants like this one, different herbs and it keeps aphids, whiteflies and snails from getting into the garden,” she says , before adding, “This is also very useful for keeping ants away. And then taking the chunks and putting them in the bucket where the beans grow.”
Fellow Tiktokers thanked them for the tip and were happy that the recipe had been passed on from grandfather to granddaughter.
@user4009515481783 wrote: “To the host, kudos to your grandpa and sharing with us. Thanks”, while @Aych Deedubya added: “Just made this today. I’ll be watering my houseplants with it later. Crosses the fingers.”
A slightly more enthusiastic response came from @cynthiacarpenter14, who wrote: “THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS EDUCATIONAL RECIPE AND IT’S ALL NATURAL! Keep ’em Coming”
Murray’s grandfather’s recipe works because of certain chemical elements found in oranges, according to a piece from… Research published in 2021. The researchers note that natural pesticides, including plant extracts and essential oils, are becoming increasingly popular, in an effort to “reduce the adverse effects of pesticides on the environment.” According to the research, essential oils from more than 1,500 plant species have been shown to act as natural pesticides. This includes Citrus sinensis L, AKA the orange tree.
“Orange essential oil is primarily found in oval pockets on the flavedo or orange portion of the peel and acts as a natural toxic barrier to many microorganisms and insects,” the paper states.
Science aside, it seems that many Tiktokers will be adopting the technique for their own gardens, including @llphandy, who noted, “I like to use natural products to help grow and care for plants. My father grew a large garden , all natural. Gave it to older neighbors and to his family.”
Meanwhile @Mark Egan wrote: “I have a mega problem with snails and snails eating my hostas. I’ll try! Thank you so much!” and @Connor2711 replied simply, “Excellent, keep up the good work.”
news week Sarah Murray asked for comment.