bwhite829
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I've got a hypothetical question.

Okay, so after reading over a couple posts about neem and tobacco and their pesticide properties, and learning about compost tea, I'm wondering if you could hypothetically make a pesticide tea in a similar process and spray it on crops? I'm just wondering how you'd go about doing that. I'm new to gardening and have no experience so I've still got alot of questions.

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Kisal
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Tobacco can be steeped in water (I don't remember the recommended length of time) and the resulting "brew" used as a pesticide. It can be poured on the ground or sprayed on plants, but it has to be handled very carefully. It's a very poisonous concoction. If you get it on your skin, it will soak right through and make you extremely ill.

Nicotine pesticide is a very old method of controlling garden pests. Like any pesticide, however, it kills good insects right along with the bad ones. Because it's homemade and "natural", people often fail to realize just how dangerous it is. If a child or pet got into the stuff, it could be fatal.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

bwhite829
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would it seep into the fruits/veggies you spray it on, or is it safe to eat after it is washed really well? and would you use rubber gloves or something?

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Kisal
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I can't speak authoritatively about whether nicotine insecticide soaks into the plants. I've heard that it doesn't, and I would guess that is because most plants have a waxy coating to help protect them from losing too much moisture. That's why most homemade insecticide recipes require the addition of soap, to keep the water from beading up on the surface of the plants. Warm-blooded animals don't have such a protective coating, so the chemical can penetrate the skin easily.

I have read that nicotine insecticide can be used shortly before harvest, so it apparently does wash off.

I certainly would wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and gloves when handling the stuff, just as I would when handling any other toxic chemical. Another point to remember is that, if you use commercial tobacco to make your nicotine pesticide, it's likely to have many other chemicals in it besides nicotine. Tobacco companies add lots of stuff to their products these days.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

a0c8c
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Don't you also have to be careful of the mosaic virus that's spread from tobacco?
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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lorax
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Mosaic virus is only an issue if you're using the tobacco pesticide on other solanums - say, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.

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gixxerific
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Kisal wrote:Tobacco companies add lots of stuff to their products these days.
Come on Kisal who told you that lie? It is a natural product, naturally, I even think it's safe for children if I read the ads right. :P :wink:



(Kidding of course, by the way tobacco killed my father :twisted: Sorry, i had to post this.)

Toil
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lorax wrote:Mosaic virus is only an issue if you're using the tobacco pesticide on other solanums - say, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.
from the minnesota extension:

In Minnesota, common plant hosts for the mosaic virus are tomato, pepper, petunia, snapdragon, delphinium, and marigold. Tobacco mosaic virus also has been reported to a lesser extent in muskmelon, cucumber, squash, spinach, celosia, impatiens, ground cherry, phlox, zinnia, certain types of ivy, plantain, night shade, and jimson weed. Although tobacco mosaic virus may infect many other types of plants, it generally is restricted to plants that are grown in seedbeds and transplanted or plants that are handled frequently.
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