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Plant ash

Ash is the residue of burned plant parts like; bark, wood, sawdust, leaves, woody debris, pulp, husk, hulls, fronds, and other plant debris. Ash has been used for soil liming (Risse, 2002) and for traditional pest control to some crawling pests (HDRA, 2002; Stoll, 2000).


  1. Ash - chili powder (KARI, 2003)

    Sieve ash to remove the big particles. Grind dried chili. Mix 2 kg of ash with 50 g of powdered pepper. Apply a pinch of pepper powder and ash mixture to the funnel of the plant when pinholes on the corn leaves are found. This formulation is good enough for a 0.4 ha area.

    Pest controlled: Corn stalk borer

  2. Corn cob ash (Stoll, 2000: p. 188)

    Place ash around the base of a young bean plant. A teacup full of ash is good enough for 5 plants.

    Pest controlled: Ants

  3. Rice hull ash or Eucalyptus/cypress wood ash (Katembwe, 2003)

    Sprinkle ash around the young plants or surround the whole plot with a shallow trench (8-10 cm wide) and fill it up with ash.

    Pest controlled: Cutworm, snail, slug, and turnip moth.

  4. Plant ash (HDRA, 2002)

    Lay a thick layer of ash around the plants. This will prevent flies and moths laying their eggs near the stems.

    Pest controlled: Cutworm and fly maggot

  5. Wood ash ? lime (Stoll, 2000: p. 188)

    Add œ cup of wood ash and œ cup of lime into 4 liters of water. Leave to stand for some hours. Strain to have a clear filtrate. Make a test on few infested plants first to make adjustment of the strength before going into large scale spraying.

    Pest controlled: Cucumber beetle and maggots on cucurbits

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Standard procedures for the preparation and application of homemade extracts

  1. Use utensils for the extract preparation that are not use for your food preparation and for drinking and cooking water containers. Clean properly all the utensils every time after using them.
  2. Do not have a direct contact with the crude extract while in the process of the preparation and during the application.
  3. Make sure that you place the extract out of reach of children and house pets while leaving it overnight.
  4. Harvest all the mature and ripe fruits before extract application.
  5. Always test the extract formulation on a few infected plants first before going into large scale spraying. When adding soap as an emulsifier, use a potash-based one.
  6. Wear protective clothing while applying the extract.
  7. Wash your hands after handling the extract.


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