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Anyway, back to the ants. Blackfly secrete a sugary substance, called honeydew, which the ants love. The ants 'farm' the blackfly, and push them to the tips of the plant (where growth is newest and lushest, which leads to the production of the sweetest honeydew). Then they drink it.
I wouldn't worry too much, unless you see loads of them on the tips of the plants. But, to reduce blackfly numbers you can pinch the tips out (just nip the tops off the plants), but it's important to leave a few blackfly there to attract ladybirds and lacewings.Good luck, Kate
I loved your veg tests, Pippa, in fact I grew garlic for the first time last year on your recommendations, plus I'm going to be giving broad beans a go this year too after having read your article. Are you going to be doing more this year? Thanks.