Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has long been popular for environmentally minded people but early in my green journey, I was still hesitant to make the jump. Why? Well, I was unsure about how to check the quality and purity of the apple cider vinegar that was available to me in Japan and I did not want to import ACV and create more emissions. In the end, I decided to use up all the cleaners that I had already purchased and replace them with ACV cleaner.
As is often the way with things, this did not go as planned. Towards the end of April, I noticed something that pushed my hand to buy ACV before my cleaners were gone: the balcony garden I started (as described in this post) had a growing infestation of what appeared to be aphids on several of my plants. After a bit of research (and a lot of panicking), I found out that ACV was the natural solution I needed to solve this problem.
After a bit of a rocky start (that involved me disregarding the instructions on a pack of green onion seeds so that they were much too close together), most of my plants were doing just fine–by late April, I had already had a chance to harvest lettuce several times and also had tomato blooms as well. My main bug problem was on the eggplant plant. This was one of the few plants that I purchased at local hardware store (instead of growing from a seed) and I guess I must have brought back more than just the plant. A week or two after I brought it home, there were aphids all over the eggplant plant. They also started to show up on my cucumbers! NOOOOO!
Enter the hero: apple cider vinegar! I found a recipe online for ACV bug repellant that was only three ingredients: ACV, mint, and water. I had mint in my garden (which I got from trading several of my basil plants!), so I tried this out. I mixed everything all together, let it rest, then–because I didn’t have any spray bottles in my apartment–I used some old paintbrushes to apply the repellant. And it worked! Well….sort of. The bugs were gone, but my eggplant plant also died. I am not sure if I was too late to save the plant or if the repellant was too strong for the poor plant. On a slightly more positive note, the aphids on my cucumber plant eventually died out and my cukes survived. I never got to harvest any cucumbers, but the flowers were bright and cheerful and the vines shaded my apartment and reduced my cooling costs.
After the (sort of) success with ACV in the garden, I use it for many things around the house. I have used it to remove a wart from my finger (after several unsuccessful trips to the doctor), to clean my house, and even to replace shampoo! ACV is now one of the things I can’t live without. I am always on the lookout for more uses for , so if you have any tips, be sure to leave a comment!