It’s that time of year when your garden is in full flow!
Flowers are blooming, Spring vegetables are swelling and all of that activity includes the arrivals of various bugs and bees ready to make your garden their home.
And while all of this abundance is well received, there’s a few garden arrivals that can strike fear in to any gardener’s heart; black fly and black bean aphids!
I’ve seen some people use language like ‘winning the war’ and ‘we must fight to protect ourselves’. That’s a bit too much in my opinion and makes people reach for chemical pesticides when there’s zero need to.
Firstly it’s important to understand what these little bugs are doing and why they’re there.
Most Of The Time You’ll Be Looking At A Farm
Did you know that ants farm black bean aphids? Cool huh?!
The ants feed off the ‘milk’ that the aphids produce from eating the plants. The ants will also manage the colony like a farm and if needed, move the aphids to other plants to create new colonies.
In small numbers, these little farms are not really a problem. It’s when you get large numbers like the picture above that it can harm your plants because the aphids are literally sucking them dry!
Through experience and research I’ve put together this 3-step plan to help you manage these little critters.
It works and there’s not a chemical in sight! Meaning you can continue to grow in your organic haven 😀
Your 3-Step Organic Aphid Control Plan
- If the numbers are small, then leave them alone. In time, predators will arrive and do the job for you! Creating an organic eco-system takes time, but not as much time as you’d think. It took one season for my kitchen garden to get in to it’s natural rhythm which was both amazing and subsequently delicious haha!
- Grab the hose! A gentle but firm hosing down of your plants will work wonders when it comes to reducing numbers and getting rid of the aphids. You can also use a cloth afterwards to gently wipe the leaves and stalks and clear any stragglers.
- Use a soapy water solution. Grab an eco friendly washing up liquid (I use EcoCover) and add 1 teaspoon to every pint of water. Spray over the plant, leave for a few minutes then wash off. I sometimes use a toothbrush as well to clean off any aphids that really don’t want to go!
Plants Prone To Blackfly and Black Bean Aphids
They’ll settle on many but the favourites are:
- Globe artichokes
They’ll cover the stalks and leaves like a buggy blanket!
It’s An Organic Wrap!
Over the years these are the easiest ways that I’ve found to control and/or getting rid of aphids, but there’s other options such as oil sprays!
What do you do?
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