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aphids

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aphids

Post  Feistywidget on 11/11/2011, 7:00 pm

I grew eggplant this year from transplants and unfortunately evil, wretched aphids ravaged my plants. They didn't attack the fruit, just the foliage. Unfortunately by the time they were gone, the damage had already been done and I had a reduced harvest.

So I'm wondering what the best way to deal with them is. I've come up with three basic methods according to research I've done.

*Put floating row covers on the plants until they start to bare blossoms/fruit.

*Treat the plants with Neem's oil and use floating row covers in combination with this. However with this method, wouldn't it be pointless to do until AFTER I already have an aphid infestation?

*Spray the undersides of the leaves with water to knock them off.

The first one deals with preventing aphids in the first place; the other two getting rid of them once an infestation has already occurred.

I'm confused about spraying the plants with water to knock them off.

I know it will get rid of aphids, but based on what I've heard, you're not supposed to get ANY part of a plant wet......it's the fastest way to spread disease and encourage fungus, etc.

Regarding the floating row covers, I know they act as a barrier to repel insects. However do they also keep the plants warm? Will by using the floating row covers, it overheat the plants, basically creating a greenhouse effect?

I'm NOT referring to the stuff you use to keep the plants warm, that you use to extend the season (starting earlier, and being able to harvest and grow stuff later into fall)

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Re: aphids

Post  southern gardener on 11/11/2011, 7:38 pm

there's a post about ants in the bed or something...check it out. Might be of help to you
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Re: aphids

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 8:12 pm

There's a garden center near me that sells ladybugs for just such a purpose. As long as you have enough plant material and the aphids, the ladybugs will stay around and clean up the aphids
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Re: aphids

Post  Feistywidget on 11/18/2011, 4:34 pm

Yeah sorry if I didn't clarify this initially in my post, but the methods I would like for aphids, are for preventing them from coming in the first place. Also, preventing an infestation before it happens, and preventing it from occurring in the first place.

The suggestions with getting rid of aphids are great, unfortunately the ones listed are those that deal with an infestation that has already occurred, and dealing with aphids AFTER they've appeared.

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Re: aphids

Post  camprn on 11/18/2011, 5:08 pm

You can try trap plants set out of your SFG. Aphids love lupines and will flock to them. There are other trap plants that you could use too.

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Re: aphids

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/18/2011, 10:29 pm

@camprn wrote:You can try trap plants set out of your SFG. Aphids love lupines and will flock to them. There are other trap plants that you could use too.

I gotta remember the lupine trick. Thanks!
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Re: aphids

Post  Feistywidget on 12/21/2011, 11:46 pm

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what's a trap plant? I'm assuming based on description, it acts as a decoy to prevent the aphids from eating food crops (or whatever thing you're protecting). Basically they go after decoy rather than other plant.

Also what's a lupine and how do you grow it. I just know it's a flower, and I don't know anything about growing flowers, nor do I have any experience growing them.

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Re: aphids

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/22/2011, 12:20 am

Here are some quick tips for you... http://www.ehow.com/how_4886058_prevent-aphids.html

But, honestly, Mother Nature rules all. There is no sure fire way to prevent them from ever showing up. Most of the "management" is in keeping them from getting out of control once they do show up.
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Re: aphids

Post  Goosegirl on 12/22/2011, 8:46 am

@Feistywidget wrote:Also what's a lupine and how do you grow it. I just know it's a flower, and I don't know anything about growing flowers, nor do I have any experience growing them.

http://www.coreyengferphotography.com/gallery/170-Lupine_Flowers

Lupines are flowers in the pea family. They grow wild in many areas - Texas Blue Bonnet and the Arroyo Lupine in California are 2 well-known ones. Incredibly easy to grow and reseed themselves easily. Nothing like seeing a field of them in bloom in spring!

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Re: aphids

Post  staf74 on 12/22/2011, 9:25 am

the methods I would like for aphids, are for preventing them from coming in the first place.

There is a well established link between aphids and too much nitrogen in the soil. Any online search will bring up lots of links to it. That might be your best means of prevention. I only really get aphids in my lettuce bed and that makes sense seeing as I do supplement with fish emulsion which is almost purely nitrogen (5-1-1). I read about this problem in Eliot Coleman's books and what they do is "hose soak" their beds at the end of the season to flush out the excess nitrogen and the problem disappeared. Mels mix is sooo good at holding moisture and we all know how much it takes to get saturated thanks to the peat moss, therefore even a heavy rain might not suffice. A good long hose soak at this time of year might kind of reset a lot of things in the medium including pH, excess salts etc. Yes you are going to lose some nutrients but that's not an issue as you will replace that when you add your blended compost back in at the start of the season. It's what I'm doing this year for the first time, certainly in that lettuce bed anyhow.

You can test for sure if that is the culprit but I would deffo give it a thought. As my grandma used to say.....an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
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