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Question for the Gardeners


Guest Grimr

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Guest Grimr

I'm having a massive Aphid attack on my plants - I dealt with this last year and several succumbed. This year I thought I would be more prepared with several home remedies to get those buggers but alas - no success as of yet. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do? These plants will be the basis of Ointments, Ungents, Tinctures and Infusions so I am hesitate to use anything less than natural. Is it a lost cause?

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You can get a spray bottle or hose attachment that releases a sharp spray of water and just shoot the aphids off the plants. Once they're dislodged they can't get back on, but that won't stop new aphids from appearing, so it's a temporary relief. If you can't use pesticides then perhaps you can try buying some ladybugs from the gardening store and just dump 'em on the plants. Ladybugs just LOVE aphids.

Another thing that may work is to make a solution of three parts water and one part vegetable oil and a few drops of a mild dishsoap. The oil makes the plant slippery and prevents the bugs from climbing the plants, and the soap causes the aphids dehydration. Don't spray on really hot days because the oil can magnify the sunlight and harm the plant.

Hope that helps a little.

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I read last year (aphids all over my elder) that ringing the plant with wood ash keeps them from climbing up. And spraying down with soapy water drives them off.

Building a lady bug house nearby to encourage them to stay close and eat the critters.. they hibernate over winter apparently.

 

Good luck though! Aphids suck.....

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I spray all of my plants with water and a tiny bit of washing up liquid. I never have any problems and my plants and fruits grow beautifully.

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I spray all of my plants with water and a tiny bit of washing up liquid. I never have any problems and my plants and fruits grow beautifully.

 

You beat me to that one Dawn...

 

The other thing you can do is buy a tube of Lady Birds, but, there sadly is no guarantee that they will stay in your garden...

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There is something called insceticidal soap, which I believe is relatively harmless to the plant. I also believe aphids love marigolds, so if you plant some inbetween, the aphids will attack them instead.

 

M

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All great answeres!!! I buy lady bugs every year, they will stay in your garden as long as the little buggers are there to feed on! I have also used the soap, both work well, but I would go with the ladies first. If you keep them in your refridge. The go into hybrination(sp) and wake right up when you let them into your garden. Good luck, keep us posted! :)

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Here is some instructions on how to make Rhubarb Leaf Natural Pesticide:

 

Rhubarb leaves make a very effective natural pesticide for leaf eating insects, and it is easy to make. While the stalks are perfectly edible, the leaves contain oxalic acid, a poison that can stop your heart. It will also stop insects in their tracks. A word of warning, don't use this if you have dogs. They are attracted to the soap and my lick it, with fatal results. If you don't have dogs, make this natural pesticide to protect your flowers.

 

STEW THE LEAVES: Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

 

STRAIN: Set the colander over a bucket. Strain the leaves from the water. Pour the rhubarb leaf natural pesticide water into the bottle, using the funnel. Add a tbsp of liquid soap, cover and shake. Label as POISON with a marker.

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Guest Grimr

I'm thinking the Ladybug route may be my best bet - I first tried a "natural" insecticide made from fatty plant salts but it seems to be harming my plants, the soap I tried last year and it helped the more mild cases so I have added oil to the mixture and will see if that does the trick. It's really become a problem - my Foxglove plant is so bad, I've had to cut a few leaves and the new leaves that appear are sickly and small. Thank you for the suggestions.

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Tobacco. Insects hate it, and you can make a "tea" to spray the leaves with. Leave some tobacco ( or the leaves if you can grow it fresh ) in hot water and steep it for a few days then use to spray . It won't damage your plants as long as you don't spray them when the sun is on them ( the water magnifies the sunlight and burns them, nowt to do witb the tobacco ) .

 

I agree with encouraging ladybirds also, aphids are their natural food source.

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One tablespoon of a mild liquid soap to a gallon of water in spray bottle does the job in a pinch. Ecover makes great mild eco-friendly washing-up soaps. Safer's Insecticidal Soap is great but leaves an ugly reside, so maybe not your best bet unless you can wash your plant-y ingredients before you use them. Good luck. Stay away from the orange-coloured lady bugs- they bite, and they hurt. :)

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Guest Grimr

Thanks again guys - On a better note, my Mandrake root has sprouted, 3 of them, and they will NOT be going near the garden where the aphids reside. However so far the aphids seem less and some of my plants appear to be clear. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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Aphids love marigolds so planting them beside the established plants will allegedly reduce the damage to your other plants. I also use the washing up liquid spray too! I'm growing marigolds alongside my tomatoes in the greenhouse this year to see if it works.

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