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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

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No chemicals, but introducing a ladybug army is totally ok. They sell them here at the local ACE Hardware. At all costs, do not lose your plants to pests! They are not guerilla fighters. They are like the local mafia, trying to work a protection racket on you. Fuck 'em!

you're so diligent, it's awesome! what do you use to test the soil nutrients?

No do not go the chemical route. You will knock everything out of balance and you will get pest you have not noticed yet. Adult convergent lady bird beetles will just fly away to mate. It is their larvae that eat large quantities of aphids. Find a picture of the different larval stages. The larvae are sometimes called aphid lions. Very fun to watch and a good sign of a healthy garden. Aphidoletes aphidimyza and Aphidius sp. may come into you garden naturally if you avoid persistent pesticides. Either of these two parsitoids will crash the aphid population. Soaps and neem are OK but still will kill the beneficial insects they contact.
Water sprays to knock the aphids off the plants works as well as anything. I use one of those 1/4 turn valves that come with watering wands. I turn on the valve just enough to produce a fine narrow stream of water. Use the stream to surgically remove the aphids. If the plant tissue becomes immediately water soaked you are using too much pressure and will damage the plants. It is OK to hate the bad bugs. The only end to pestilence is death!
Good Luck,
Bill

Hey, you got rid of them for a day, you're doing better than I.I'll now tell you the trick that allcatuy worked best. My roses were also infested and the sprays weren't working (I think it's smothers the poor little guys but doesn't stop their cousins from moving in which the garlic should do but .). I read somewhere that what deters aphids most is the smell of dead aphids (sensible creatures after all). So I would go out every morning and squish 10 million aphids. I appeased my conscience with the fact that I'd rather be squished to death than sprayed with something nasty that caused me to suffocate. Anyway, the aphids rarely appeard on the same shoot too soon after the squishing. Of course they were always back on new shoots and in a few days on the old ones but over time the roses thrived and the aphids vanished. My celery didn't benefit from the squishing technique and remained stunted.Oh, and apparently rubbing the squished paste down the trunk of your plants prevents aphids from climbing up and moving around.No, I didn't wear gloves and the smell and nicotine stained look don't wash off too readily.The things we do to save our crops.

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Hi! My name is Martina and I have a "farm" in my New York City backyard called FarmTina.

My definition of "farm" is really just a living space that brings together home grown vegetables & fruits, animals, flowers & trees, and concoctions that use all of these ingredients together... read more