I have found that Bordeaux mixture prevents the leaves of Monkshood from turning black and falling off, if the plants are well sprayed with it about the middle of June and the first of July.
Phloxes grown in rather shady places will, in damp weather, fall victims to mildew on the leaves. Spraying with Bordeaux mixture the end of June and middle of July should prevent this. Roses also have a tendency in warm, damp weather to mildew, which can be prevented by spraying the plants with Bordeaux mixture.
Kerosene emulsion may also be prepared, and is excellent for killing, both the small green aphids that often cover the leaves of Roses, and other hard, scaly insects. Following is the receipe:
Put one cake of laundry soap shaved fine into one gallon of water. When dissolved, add two gallons of kerosene oil This makes the emulsion.
For spraying, use one quart of the emulsion in fourteen quarts of water. Be sure that this is very thoroughly mixed before filling the sprayer.
Powdered hellebore, if dissolved in the proportion of one pound of powder to one gallon of water, will destroy both the green worm on the Rose leaf and the small dark beetle that eats the Roses. It will also dispose of green worms on other plants.
Slug-shot dissolved, one-half pound of powder to one gallon of water, will, if used the latter part of April and several times in May, keep the Roses comparatively free from insects. Slug-shot and hellebore may also be used dry and blown on to the plants with a bellows.
I have used Hellebore in my garden for many years without harm to anything except the worms and beetles. But recently I heard of a lady who was severely poisoned in using dry Hellebore. The wind blew it into her face; perhaps some was inhaled, and serious illness resulted. I mention the fact here, to caution all who use it not to let either the spray or the powder come in contact with the skin. Some persons maybe susceptible to the poison while others are not, - presenting a case of what the doctors call an "idiosyncrasy."
Paris green, mixed in the proportion of two tablespoonfuls to three quarts of water and used as a spray, will destroy a beetle that sometimes appears upon the Gourd vines.
Tobacco water will kill the black aphids which appear on the stems and leaves of hardy Chrysanthemums. It will also kill green aphids. This spray is made by filling an ordinary pail lightly, not pressed down, with tobacco stems. Pour as much cold water into the pail as it will hold; let it stand for three hours, when it is ready to use in the spraying machine. This mixture will be good for only twenty-four hours.
Tobacco spray will also destroy the large red aphid (I call it this for want of, perhaps, the proper name) that has recently appeared in some localities upon the stems of the Rudbeckia (Golden Glow) and of the single hardy Sunflower, just below the blossom.
The enemy of the Box is the white spider. The insect spins its web on the Box and works from the inside. If the branches are pulled aside, the inside of the plant will be found full of dead leaves in the vicinity of the web. Recently I read in a well-known gardening monthly, that this spider could be destroyed by spraying with kerosene emulsion. I have some fine Box trees, and there were several white spider-webs on each. Watering with a very strong force of water had been tried without effect. Upon reading the article in the monthly and finding that the spider was certainly causing disaster which might be fatal, I proceeded to have the trees sprayed with kerosene emulsion, using it of the same strength as for Roses. In fact, the sprayer was not re-filled, as there was enough left in it since last using it on the Roses. About three days after the Box had been sprayed, large, unsightly brown patches appeared on the trees, showing that the emulsion had killed the leaves wherever it touched them. The spider was not harmed.
I mention this experience as an example of the danger of taking all the directions found in horticultural publications as gospel truth. Nor should an amateur gardener ever be tempted to trifle with plant medicines. I have a certain friend whose affection for her Roses is more profound than her knowledge of how to treat their natural diseases. Observing last summer that one of her most cherished Crimson Ramblers was covered with aphids, she concluded to spray it with "something." A bottle of carbolic acid being most available, she tested its merits at once. The efficacy of carbolic acid as a poison was proved beyond a doubt, for the insects became singularly dead in a day or two, and so did the leaves; they fell off together. There was nothing left but the forlorn stems and branches, looking like some freak of the vegetable kingdom.