Today we are familiar with the fern macerate, a natural remedy against many garden parasitic insects. This is another natural pesticide, which complements the ones we have seen in previous articles: nettle macerate, garlic infusion or macerate and tomato macerate.
When creating an organic garden, it becomes crucial to use this type of product, as it allows us to avoid the use of insecticides, which, in the end, poison our crops and, thus, our food.
Let’s learn more about ferns and see how to prepare and use their macerate to best protect our garden from diseases and parasites.
The macerate of ferns is obtained by macerating two types of plants, the male fern Dryopteris filix-mas, and the bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum. These are two spontaneous plants belonging to the class Pteridopsida, from the families Dryopteridaceae (male fern) and Hypolepidaceae (bracken fern).
The fern is a so-called cosmopolitan plant species. It is found throughout the Italian territory. In particular, it is found in forests, pastures, shady areas, and siliceous soils, up to altitudes of two thousand meters.
In ancient times, this plant was used for its vermifuge action to prepare natural remedies against stomach parasites. However, this type of use has been abandoned over time due to the high toxicity and risks associated with the human consumption of artisanal preparations that are not always controlled.
Preparation of Fern Macerate
The primary use of fern macerate is as a natural pesticide against cochineal and other insects. For its preparation, the aerial part of the plant, that is, the leaves of the fern, is used. The proportions are: 1 kg of green plant (or 100 g of dry plant) per 10 liters of water. The green plant should be soaked in abundant water (preferably rainwater, better if collected using terracotta containers) for one week.
Using Fern Macerate
As a natural remedy for cochineal, the one-week fern macerate is used in the spring and summer months and should be diluted in an additional 10 liters of water. If you choose to intervene during the winter months, it is best to use it undiluted.
For a more effective action against cochineal, it is recommended to perform a preliminary cleaning of the infested part with a brush with soft bristles. As we know, spraying on trees should be done during the cooler hours of the day.
The intervention, finally, should be carried out at regular intervals, once or twice a week, for at least a month.
Fern macerate is also an effective pesticide against aphids, for infestations on the aerial part of our vegetable crops. It is also effective against slugs if directly sprayed on the soil.
Lastly, as ferns are rich in potassium, the macerate can be sprayed on the soil as a nutritional supplement in case of potassium deficiency.
As we have just seen, fern macerate is a biologically composed compound that can be easily prepared at home. It can naturally solve some complex issues related to our garden. However, if you do not have the possibility or the time to prepare it yourself, it is also available online, ready to use, with a good quality-price ratio (available online at this link).
- ScienceDirect – “Global patterns of fern species diversity” – This article explores the global patterns of fern species diversity, providing insights into the distribution and characteristics of different fern species.
- SpringerLink – “Current Advances in Fern Research” – A comprehensive book that covers the latest advances in fern research, including their biology, ecology, and evolution.
- Taylor & Francis Online – “How fern and fern allies respond to heterogeneous habitat” – This study examines how ferns and their allies respond to heterogeneous habitats, shedding light on their adaptability and survival strategies.
- Nature – “Carbonization and H3PO4 activation of fern Dicranopteris” – The article discusses the carbonization and activation of fern Dicranopteris, a process that has potential applications in various industries.
- Frontiers – “The physiological resilience of fern sporophytes” – This research focuses on the physiological resilience of fern sporophytes, exploring their ability to adapt to environmental changes.
- Wiley Online Library – “Physicochemical and functional properties of fern rhizome” – An article that investigates the physicochemical and functional properties of fern rhizomes, providing insights into their potential applications.
- PubMed – “Leaf optical properties and photosynthesis of fern species” – This study explores the leaf optical properties and photosynthesis of various fern species, contributing to the understanding of their growth and development.
- ResearchGate – “A Review on the Potential Uses of Ferns” – A comprehensive review that explores the potential uses of ferns in various fields, including medicine, agriculture, and industry.
- PubMed – “The evolution, morphology, and development of fern leaves” – An article that delves into the evolution, morphology, and development of fern leaves, providing insights into their structural complexity and diversity.