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1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

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1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  Windmere on 4/23/2016, 12:17 pm

Gosh guys, I had a very rude awakening just now.  There are thousands of aphids infesting my garlic:



I've been stripping them off and I'm thinking about applying some mild Dr. Bonner's peppermint soap/water.  I don't think I've ever had this problem before.  Providentially, Pike Nursery (nearby in Peachtree City, GA) is offering free lady bugs with any purchase (I think maybe all weekend, but at least today for sure).  I know releasing those is "iffy" but the price is right.

Also, I dug up one of my garlic "bulbs."  They really are more like green onions because the bulb is non-existent.  Previous years, test digs showed a rather large bulb as of April.  I think I read that Jimmy fertilized his with blood meal?  I bought some the other day, so I think I'll apply it today. 

Do you think there's hope?  All comments welcome.  Smile
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/23/2016, 12:32 pm

Holy cow! I didn't know that garlic ever got attacked by anything. I like to Dr. Bonner's idea if you can't get rid of them with a hard blast of water.

I think it's bone meal that is used with root veggies. Couple years ago I had some bone meal leftover from when I started my asparagus bed and so I sprinkled it in the garlic box before I planted my garlic. Last year was my best garlic harvest ever. I forgot about when I planted the current bed and for some reason didn't think I should apply it after the fact. I'll be watching for the answer to that.

What ever you do, good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
CC
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  yolos on 4/23/2016, 1:12 pm

@Windmere wrote:Gosh guys, I had a very rude awakening just now.  There are thousands of aphids infesting my garlic:



I've been stripping them off and I'm thinking about applying some mild Dr. Bonner's peppermint soap/water.  I don't think I've ever had this problem before.  Providentially, Pike Nursery (nearby in Peachtree City, GA) is offering free lady bugs with any purchase (I think maybe all weekend, but at least today for sure).  I know releasing those is "iffy" but the price is right.

Also, I dug up one of my garlic "bulbs."  They really are more like green onions because the bulb is non-existent.  Previous years, test digs showed a rather large bulb as of April.  I think I read that Jimmy fertilized his with blood meal?  I bought some the other day, so I think I'll apply it today. 

Do you think there's hope?  All comments welcome.  Smile
My garlic bulbs are not forming either.  But at least I don't have aphids on the garlic.  I just noticed them starting on the fava beans though.  I thought about the lady bugs at Pike's also but at the time I made my decision not to get any, I didn't have any aphids.  Now I have to reconsider.

I hate aphids.  Everybody says to use a strong blast of water.  That did not work for me when they attacked my Cowpeas last year.  I actually sprayed the stem and rubbed my fingers down the stem as I sprayed it.  Of course they came back.  I did it again and they came back but fewer this time.  Then I bought some insecticidal soap and sprayed.  They came back again and I sprayed the insecticidal soap again.  Finally they stopped.  Look around and see if you have any ants.  If so, you can also get rid of the ants and that will help.
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  Windmere on 4/23/2016, 10:00 pm

Thanks for the responses CC and yolos.  Those aphids started to really creep me out when they began crawling up my arms (and stuff like that usually doesn't bother me).  Thanks for the input about the insecticidal soap yolos.

Well, my SOS text to my wife about the aphids led to her and my daughter stopping at Pike.  Not only did they get the free lady bugs, but they bought a tub of them as well.

Tonight, I sprinkled water all over pretty much all the foliage we have outside and then I released them.  I put lots on the garlic, and after they started to come to (they were refrigerated to slow them down), they looked like they were examining the aphids.  I'll check it out tomorrow.  I also put them on shrubs (gardenias and the like) and roses, misc. flowers, etc.  I would have taken some photos, but my camera battery died on me.

This afternoon, after really feeling around the garlic, I noticed that their soil was very sandy in consistency.  I now know that I (tragically) had added compost when I planted them but did not compensate with peat moss.  Three years have taught me what MM should feel like, and my garlic MM was way off.  It makes sense that after three years, my boxes need a peat moss refresh.  My garlic is exceptionally small in every way.

I mixed a light amount of compost and blood meal along with a generous amount of peat moss and got the MM feeling right again. I worked that into the box with my fingers, gently incorporating it pretty deep.

CC, I've always known bone meal to be good for bulbs too.  I usually use some when I plant Dutch bulbs in the fall.  However, I have it in my head that garlic likes blood meal.  In fact, the Amazon page I bought from mentions garlic liking blood meal:

http://www.amazon.com/Down-Earth-5-Pound-12-0-0-7807/dp/B000CO80OM?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00+

I did some cursory research online and I'm finding a few hits on blood meal and garlic (and actually bone meal used in tandem).  I'm reading about folks dressing their garlic in April/May.  Perhaps I can rescue this situation.  I'll keep you all posted.


Last edited by Windmere on 4/23/2016, 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added some text)
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  Windmere on 4/23/2016, 11:00 pm

Ok, I have some more info to add to my post above about my activity this afternoon:

I now know for sure where I got it in my head about garlic and nitrogen.  Last year I bought myself a splurge book, "The Complete Book of Garlic" by Ted Jordan Meredith.

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Garlic-Gardeners-Growers/dp/0881928836?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

In the section on cultivation, it mentions that nitrogen is the fertilizer amendment most needed and beneficial.  Essentially, moderation is the key though.  Reference is made to a University of Minnesota publication (Rosen et al. 2007) that recommends avoiding nitrogen applications after the first week of May to avoid delayed bulbing.  The publication also noted that nitrogen amounts can be reduced if the ground was previously planted with nitrogen-fixing crops like soybeans or peas (ahem yolos).  Organic soils and rotation of nitrogen-fixing crops can eliminate the need for supplemental nitrogen applications.

As you might imagine from the title, my book is exhaustive in its treatment of the subject, so I'm just putting it in a nutshell.
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  has55 on 4/24/2016, 4:41 am

this work for me when they attacked my mustard greens about 45 days ago.
aphips

ORGANIC CONTROL: Strong blasts of water, garlic-pepper tea, liquid seaweed, and the release of ladybugs and green lacewings. Citrus oil spray can be used for heavy infestations. Biological sprays are also now available. Plant oil products will also work.

To control aphids, plant adapted varieties, encourage biodiversity especially beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, hover flies, and predatory wasps. Avoid heavy amounts of fertilizers. Spray infested plants with strong blasts of sugar water and release ladybugs. Garlic-pepper tea, Garrett Juice with garlic, neem, and citrus oil based sprays will also help. 

Garlic Pepper Tea Recipe
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Re: 1000's of aphids attacking my garlic?? Super small too.

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/24/2016, 10:02 am

Windmere, my 2 cents' worth on the ladybugs: I had a major yellow aphid infestation on my milkweed last year, really bad. Water blasts and soap mixtures doing only temporary damage. Serendipity brought actual ladybugs to my yard, and it was like the Cavalry came to town! They were cleaned up in no time! And I didn't have a ton of ladybugs, just a handful--they must be voracious little things! Hope you see some of the same with your little army. flower
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