Aphids

I’d love to say I have the solution to these buggers but this is more a post of things I’ve tried that didn’t work in hopes of other suggestions.

Aphids are little bugs that suck the sap out of plant causing them to wilt and die. They particularly seem to love my tomato plants.

On the stem of plants they are tiny green bugs that gross me out too much to post a photo of, google and you’ll see why. Mature aphids are white and fly which means they quickly move to other plants and take over a garden.

I’m not sure why but I feel like container gardening seems particularly prone to aphids, maybe because the plants don’t get as big? Or it could be because i grow my container plants on a balcony or indoors where there are less natural predators? I don’t know but I find my friends that plant in ground don’t seem to have the same problem.

I’ve also noticed the green aphids don’t seem to infest my bigger plants with thicker stems like my avocado. Though the white aphids will land on anything including the avocado. They do tend to prefer softer leaves and younger plants first it seems. I’ve noticed they only live on the younger leaves of my avocado plant.

I’ve read that chives, garlic, onions, chilies, basil, and mint all deter aphids. My experience is if the infestation is severe enough, they will eat anything.

I’ve tried spraying with water to dislodge them and then with soapy water to deter them. Both only lasted a few days to a week.

I’ve also tried planting marigolds to attract lady bugs. I got one or two but being on the 10th floor in the heart of the city has its disadvantages… There were a few lady bugs and they did help but not enough to control the population.

This year I plan to try a mix of garlic and chili peppers soaked in water to spray on the plants. I had wanted to avoid this because I was worried it would affect the taste since I mostly grow edible plants but I think I’m left with no choice.

I’ve also been told that good pruning and garden hygiene can help which I’m not that good at but will work on this year. Removing stems with aphids, spacing out leaves and stems for better air circulation. Aphids like a sheltered habitat so more air is less comfortable for them. And it also makes it easier for predators to get to them. And by predators I mean the all mighty lady bug. đŸ™‚

In the meantime, if you’ve got some aphid prevention tips please pass them along!

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2 comments

  1. You seem to have tried all the usual suggestions – water, soapy water, companion planting etc. We are plagued with aphids on the fruit bushes but companion plants seem to keep them at bay in the greenhouse. The only other thing I can think of is very fine, insect-proof mesh. It might be too late for this season but something to consider next year?

    The last resort is an organic spray but obviously one that is suitable for edible plants.

    • Thanks for the suggestions!

      I forgot to mention, I even tried a pesticide my friend gave me… I tested it when the plants were pretty far gone and I had just about given up and it didn’t even help that much.

      I’ll see if I can find something to use as mesh and try that out. đŸ™‚

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