Among the products useful for the natural defense of the vegetable garden is tomato macerate, an insecticide that can be made free of charge and in a very simple way. The tomato contains solanine, a toxic substance that the plant produces to defend itself against harmful insects and fungal spores. Especially the green parts are rich in it, in particular the leaves. As the fruit ripens, it loses most of this toxin and the tomato becomes edible.
Solanine is not suitable for human consumption but has the excellent characteristic of being harmful to the organism of various insects, so it is possible to obtain a natural insecticide from tomatoes. To take advantage of the antiparasitic properties of solanine, the tomato leaves must be left to macerate in water, thus obtaining a very useful liquid to defend the vegetable garden with biological methods.
How to prepare the macerate
The self-production of tomato macerate is very simple, the basic indications are those explained in the article on how to prepare a vegetable macerate. It involves soaking the leaves and stem of the tomato plant in water, possibly rainwater. The ideal container is ceramic, but you can settle for a plastic bin. You can use the parts removed during the mulling, which would otherwise be waste.
Dosage. The correct dose to obtain an effective insecticide is about 250/300 grams of plant per liter of water. I do not recommend using fruits in macerated because they have less concentration of useful substance and are therefore not very effective.
Timing. If you put whole leaves and stem to macerate, it is better to wait four or five days before the preparation is ready, if instead we want to speed up the process we can grind the vegetable parts and in a couple of days our insecticide can be used.
Use of tomato macerate
Treatment. The tomato macerate is effective against aphids and cabbage, it is sprayed directly on the plants to be protected, without dilution. I recommend not spraying in the hours of full sun, to avoid the reflection of the sun's rays on wet leaves from damaging the plant. Being a natural product, less aggressive than chemical insecticides, it is important to use it as a prevention, or in any case to spray as soon as you notice an infestation. With targeted treatments at the right time, tomato macerate is effective.
Against aphids. Aphids are small plant lice that attack practically all vegetables. I recommend reading the article dedicated to how to combat aphids to learn how to recognize this problem. If aphids are found on our vegetable plants, it is better to manually remove the most affected parts of the plant and then spray the leaves with tomato macerate. If the aphids are brought by ants it is also useful to intervene with mint macerate.
Against the cabbage. The cabbage is a moth that attacks especially cruciferous plants (ie rocket, radish and all types of cabbage), the tomato macerate is indicated to dissuade it, as it has a repellent action on adult individuals. The advice is to treat periodically between April and October to remove them and prevent them from laying eggs. When attacks on the plant by the larvae occur, it is better to use Bacillus thuringiensis, a very effective and above all non-toxic biological insecticide for humans.