Dealing with aphids

by Pippa Greenwood

The outcome of the prolonged cold remains to be seen, yet I'm convinced that the aphids starting breeding earlier than ever this year.

Close-up of a gardener examining a plant infested with aphidsI had hoped that the ultra-harsh winter weather would decimate overwintering populations of pests. This would go at least some way towards making up for all the bay trees and mimosas that gardeners lost during the cold spell.

The outcome of the prolonged cold remains to be seen, yet I’m convinced that the aphids starting breeding earlier than ever this year. My dwarf runner beans, growing in massive pots, were the first victims, followed by the overwintering geraniums and pelargoniums.

Now, with the increasingly warm weather, the aphids are happily multiplying on just about any fresh, soft growth that they can find. In a bid to thwart them I’ve tried the trick of hanging bird feeders on shrubs. The blue tits form an orderly queue for the feeder (they really do!) and, while they’re waiting, they pass the time by searching for food on the stems and branches where they’re sat. This has made some difference, I’m pleased to note.

I’ve also been zapping some of the aphids with fatty acid spray and I may yet resort to blasting them off buds with the hose. The aphids seem determined to restore pre-winter population levels, so it looks like I have a fight on my hands…

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Gardeners' World Web User 20/04/2011 at 12:37

I'm watching my lupins like a hawk as some years they are smothered in the most enormous aphids, no sign on anything yet this year....

Gardeners' World Web User 20/04/2011 at 13:15

My rose bush is getting the full on aphid treatment on all new growth. I've been spraying with washing up liquid & water, which does seem to kill the aphids, but the rose's leaves are also turning brown and yellow and dropping off - could this be connected to the spray or the aphids? What is fatty acid spray? That might be a better option.

Gardeners' World Web User 20/04/2011 at 17:22

Can someone help please. My apples tree and my very large olive tree which is hundreds of years old and planted in the garden have both developed a yellow type fungus which looks a bit like lentils. The apple tree is in blossom but the olive tree lost all it's leaves during the cold spells. It did last year but came back but I'm wondering if the fungus is telling me the tree is dead? Can anyone help please.

Gardeners' World Web User 22/04/2011 at 21:42

to eradicate of greenfly i add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic to half a litre of water and boil it and concentrate it down then spray it, always add a bit more water before spraying

Gardeners' World Web User 23/04/2011 at 15:14

When I was able to grow roses when I was in my parents house,I used to squeeze then off between my fingers,juicy!

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