I am sure that you have heard the myth of using soapy water on your tomato plants for preventing pests, such as aphids, thrips, or whiteflies. Is this, however, functioning or is it a myth? Can we sprinkle soapy water on our tomato plants without harming them?
Yes, you may water your tomato plants with soapy water. But, you must be cautious about the sort of soap you use and how you produce the solution. Another critical factor is knowing when to apply soapy water on tomato plants.
In this post, I’ll show you how to prepare and utilize soapy water to protect your tomato plants.
How to Prepare Soapy Water Spray for Tomato Plants?
Using the incorrect soap or detergent might do more damage than good. So, it is important to know what to mix and how much to mix into the water.
Tomato plants may be poisoned by soaps and detergents. A strong soapy solution that is sprayed on the tomato plants’ leaves can disintegrate the waxy coating. This causes water loss, dehydration, and renders the plant prone to disease.
Therefore, it is important to use chemical-free liquid dish soap, soap bar, or liquid hand soap. This solution is incompatible with dry laundry, dish detergent, or liquid laundry soaps.
A 1-2 % strong soapy solution is ideal. That means you can put 1 or 2 tablespoons of the chemical-free liquid dish detergent in 1 gallon of water.
TIP: The solution’s efficacy may be reduced by hard water. If your water is rich in calcium, magnesium, or iron, it is recommended to use distilled or bottled water.
You may also use natural insect repellent smells. Peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus are the best to repel pests such as flea beetles, whiteflies, aphids, thrips, fleas, flies, spider mites, and other bugs that can attack your garden.
Before extensively spraying the tomato plant with the solution, test it on a couple of its leaves. After 72 hours, you should check on these leaves. Brown patches indicate that your soapy solution is not good for your tomato plants.
How to Apply Soapy Water on Tomato Plants?
Now that you know how to make adequate soapy water, you should know how and when to utilize it.
If there is no browning on the leaves after the test spray, you may spray the whole plant with the solution. Minimize the injury by applying it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun is less intense.
Since soapy water kills bugs only on touch, using it with a spray bottle makes it easier to distribute and provides thorough coverage.
Spray the plant until it drips, paying special attention to the rear of the leaves, where the majority of the pests lurk.
If you want to be extra careful of sun damage, wash the soapy water solution off your tomato plants after it has dried for a few hours.
How Often Should I Spray My Tomato Plants with Soapy Water?
To be successful, soapy water should be used once a week for four weeks, or until you see improvement. This way, you prevent new pests to come to your tomato plants.
Spray your plants every 4 days for more significant infestations. But not more often than that and no longer than 4 weeks.
You risk causing leaf damage if you use soapy water for an extended period of time or on a regular basis. The soap removes all the natural oils and waxes that protect the leaves.
How Soapy Water Works on Tomato Plant Pests?
The soapy water insecticidal solution takes use of the soap’s fatty acids. These fatty acids suffocate small, soft-bodied insects and arthropods such as aphids, thrips, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, leafhoppers, earwigs, and other crawlers.
Soapy water is only effective when sprayed directly on bugs. The fatty acids, when in contact with the pests, disrupt the permeability and structure of the pests’ cell membranes.
These fatty acids are fatally dehydrating bugs by destroying and dissolving their exoskeletons.
The soapy water has little impact on the tomato plants until it has dried. That is why, after a few hours of spraying soapy water solution on your tomato plants, you can wash it off. You can avoid leaf damage by doing so.
Soapy water is favorable to tomato plants. This can repel pests, such as aphids, flea beetles, whiteflies, thrips, fleas, flies, spider mites, and other bugs.
However, you should be cautious when it comes to choosing the soap you will use for this purpose. Not all soaps are appropriate. This solution is incompatible with dry laundry, dish detergent, or liquid laundry soaps.
To protect your tomato plants, you should always use chemical-free soap.
Spray your tomato plants with soapy water once a week for four weeks, or until you see changes.
This solution should not be feared. If you are cautious and are using the right product, you can easily repel pests without damaging your tomato plants.
What is the best thing to spray on tomato plants?
To create a solution that prevents and treats disease, add a heaping tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and a small amount of mild soap to a gallon of water and spray the tomato plants with this solution. This must be reapplied on a frequent basis to remain effective.
Is Dawn dish soap safe for tomato plants?
Dawn dish soap is one of several dish liquids that form an excellent soap solution, readily assisting even inexperienced tomato farmers in their war against mealybugs.
Will soapy water spray hurt plants?
Certain plants are very sensitive to soapy sprays and should not be used. This list includes hawthorn, sweet pea, cherries and plum, and some gardeners have reported tomato varieties that can also be damaged.
What kills bugs on tomato plants?
Contact insecticides such as bifenthrin, cypermethrin, cyhalothrin, permethrin, and esfenvalerate are effective in controlling stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, aphids, fruitworms, and hornworms (See Tables 1 and 2). Permethrin should not be used on tomato cultivars with fruit smaller than one inch in diameter.