After all the work that goes into growing and maintaining a garden, the last thing that you want is to have pests arriving and destroying all the hard work. Aphids are notorious for coming into your garden and quickly spreading across the new growth and damaging everything in their path. For a pest so small, they can make a big dent in your crop, eating whatever new growth and buds they can find. When you are growing vegetables and fruits, harsh chemicals are not the best solution to removing them. Some options to remove them from your garden are:
1. Grow plants in your garden that aphids dislike
Aphids dislike the smell of onions and garlic and will avoid gardens that have them growing in them. Allium, a common flower and a member of the onion family, can be planted in flower gardens to help encourage aphids to move on. Fennel is another plant known to help keep your garden aphid-free. Several herbs, like catnip and oregano, will attract other insects to your garden space that help to control the aphid population.
2. Removing the aphids by hand
If your aphid infestation is limited to only a few aphids, or is isolated to only a few stems, removing the aphids, or crushing them, is an easy way to help stop their advance. By crushing the aphids, they release an odor that acts as a warning to others in the area that they are not safe, and can help to keep them away. If there is a branch that is densely covered with aphids, remove it and place it in a bucket filled with soapy water. The soapy water will kill the aphids, and this is an easy way to prevent a further spread.
3. Attract other insects to your garden
Ladybugs are a popular insect to help to keep the aphid population down, and are easy to keep and attract to the garden. They are attracted to yellow and white flowers, and enjoy fragrant flowers and herbs. If you do purchase Ladybugs for your garden, it is important to put them out in the infected areas at night, after sunset, because lady bugs do not fly in the dark and it will give them time to explore and find their food source.
4. Spraying them off the stems of plants using water pressure
So long as the infected plants are mature enough to withstand being sprayed, using this approach can be quite effective. Young aphids aren’t able to grip to the stems of plants as well, and simply by spraying the plants in the infected areas, you can remove the pests without much effort. For younger plants, it is important that you find a different solution to keep the aphid population in check.
5. Homemade aphid sprays
There are many recipes for aphid sprays that can be made at home and sprayed onto the infected plants with a trigger sprayer. Some have essential oils, or neem oil, and some are just a basic solution of water and dish soap. While there are insecticidal soaps and organic aphid sprays on the market, making your own is always the best plan especially when you are spraying it onto the food that you will be eating.
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