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i have bought three gooji berry plants of you 2 years ago and i have not had one berry on them so far is there something i am doing wrong. i have had no information on how to look after them hope you can help me on this. mrs beryl shally
I have heard that boiling up rhubarb leaves and straing liquid after can be an effective deterrent with aphids, I dont know if this is true but I am giving it a try, I would like to find out more about other plants that i can use as a liquid or other deterrants in pest control if anyone can.
May try that myself,I have a rhubarb patch,does anyone know if boiling up the leaves will be effective,on red spider mites???
I have been told about this in the Pays de la Loire in France. I've tried it and it successfully killed black fly on Dwarf Green Beans with one application. Recently I've used it on green aphids on a young apple tree, will wait and see what happens. I was told to boil up the leaves, strain off the liquor and store, then dilute about 8 parts water to 1 part liqour to b sprayed ontp affected plants.
if i use a chemical rather than organic method on my broad beans this year, would it be preferable to use a befenthrin controlled method or a systemic controlled method. Lat year the aphids were vertually uncontrollable and none of the organic methods seemed to be successful.


My grandfather was a gardener on a large estate in Dumfriesshire and I remember spending holidays there as a child and there were always tubs full of rubarb leaves left to soak in water that he then drained off to use as an insectacide, it obviously worked for him. Not sure how potent it is but I do know the leaves are posionous so be careful when handling.
Any idea of quantities of rhubarb to water and subsequent dilution factor. I always wonder about these organice solutions, they never seem to have scientific recipes..... My blackcurrants are infested, I've squashed a few million today, but found some other little maggot/mini caterpillar like creatures about 2mm to max 10mm long varying in colour from almost translucent white to same with brown markings. Was hoping they were ladybird larvae, but definitely not, now I've looked at the net.
If you know a smoker, i've heard that soaking cigarette stubs in a watering can for a few days draws out all the poisons which you can then strain and spray on the offending pests.
I've got a veg patch for the first time and have got ants 'farming' aphids on a couple of my broad bean plants! I want rid of the aphids but don't really want to harm the ants - I'm guessing the rhubarb leaf solution would poison both?
Clarmallagh, I think the little larvae you found on your blackcurrants may be hoverfly larvae, which will eat the aphids.
Re. this business of getting rid of insect pests I can report that having read your advice about the rhubard solution it has worked for me a treat against greenfly. They seem to shrivel up. My real problem is blackfly and the rhubard is not doing the trick here. I have tried 2 different chemical solutions but also to no avail. The blackfly are killing my rose buds off at an alarming rate. What can I do?
i havent heard of boiling rhubarb leaves and using liquid for spraying plants as i have noticed loads of white fly on my swede and broccolli its first time i have grew them so i will try it out i new about washin up water to spray veggies and flowers as it was all my dad used on his allotment
hmmmn not finding enough info here on how to deal with aphids - The BBC's advice about chemicals, there is no comment about which is better on plants that you will be eating or how much to spray or for how long? in otherwords its entirely unhelpful. Of course i can go into the shops and spend all afternoon reading the backs of bottles of chemical sprays but i really expected to find more actual practical 'how to' information on the BBC website. i am very disappointed
I've just found a massive infestation on my runner beans! A cheap trick I know, which works a treat, is washing up liquid (soap) & water. You only need a little soap, then spray directly on them. It is a little time consuming, but does kill a whole load in one go. Just make sure you check and repeat a few times to ge the lot, otherwise you'll find them back in no time! I'm not sure what the effect is on other insects, but I do try not to spray anything other than the aphids. Hope that helps!
hello again, well I tried the soap solution against the blackfly and it seemed to help - coupled with my daily routine of searching the rose buds and squashing any errant bugs, they appear to be on the wane - thank goodness - thanks for the tip!


I think I've found the solution to blackfly on runner beans - do nothing about it. The plants get swamped with blackfly and this definately inhibits growth - effectivelt knocking them back a month. Then the ladybirds arrive, quickly followed by their grubs (I've counted 20 on one plant). The blackfly dissapear, the plants recover and I get a great crop. I've been experimenting with tying bundles of bamboo sticks within the plants to provide a nesting place for the ladybirds. At the end of the season these go into the greenhouse, and I tie them back onto the canes at the start of the next year. I have no idea whether this has any effect - but I certainly get loads of ladybirds. Sadly this doesn't seem to work on broad beans - the blackfly seem to win this battle. Adam

I grow nasturtiums specifically for luring blackfly away from my other plants; not sure how lured they'd be away from broad beans though


I am going to try a shotgun this year after several failed attempts at control last year..

I am trying my hand at growing Broad Beans in my new pollytunel, they are doing very well I have to say, but have noticed on some of the leaves a hole, like something has had a chew. I can't see any insect or anything else around the plants. Does anyone know what it might be and how to treat it. Many thanks all.
You haven't mention Whitefly above which affects my greenhouse tomatoes and all allotment Brassica. Tried many solutions in the past but am now to try Nematodes.These apparently are very successful in controlling carrot root fly as well.