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Nature vs All-out war?

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Nature vs All-out war?

Post  Weedless_ on 7/19/2010, 10:15 pm

So it's official, I have aphids. I don't see any major damage, and some of you were right saying that there are ants - lots of them. I know ants eat aphids excretions, and so they are literally pasturing them for that reason. On the other hand, lady bugs and Asian lady beetles showed up immediately, and are following the green buggers closely. Wherever I see aphids starting a leaf, next morning they are all gone, and happy lady bugs are moving onto the next "platter".

My question is, do I need to interfere? If so, do I kill the ants first, so they stop cultivating aphids? Or just organic-pesticide everything? Or just let nature take its course? I mean, my plants are strong and healthy, and they don't seem to be suffering... On the other hand, it's only been 4-5 days since the aphid invasion. Anyway, I am torn, because I want to keep my garden completely organic... But I still want to have a garden by the end of season, and not a bunch of brown sticks.

Any advice for the newbie?
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Re: Nature vs All-out war?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 7/19/2010, 10:44 pm

Hi,
Lady bugs will do a better job at aphid removal than you will. Plus you said you have healthy plants to begin with, they should be just fine. What is the worst thing that happens...your salad has a little extra protein that tries to escape the bowl on company night. I think what the ants are doing is called "farming the aphids." I vote to let nature handle things for a few days or weeks.

Happy Gardening,
Patty from Yorktown
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Re: Nature vs All-out war?

Post  Weedless_ on 7/19/2010, 10:52 pm

Thanks Patty, you confirmed my thoughts Smile. I think lady bugs will do.
I am not growing salad greens at this point, so "protein in a bowl" is not happening. My hubby had a good chuckle at your comment about it Smile
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Re: Nature vs All-out war?

Post  Chopper on 7/19/2010, 10:59 pm

If you want to be proactive, you can take a garden hose and give them a good hard spraying. If you do that a couple of times at the beginning of the infestation, it is often enough.

Personally, I would not just let them be. It will ruin your crop this year. Get ladybugs, by all means, but it there are enough to see and ants are tending them, time to wash them off a few times. They will likely find more suitable places to be.

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