It’s that time of the year, my friends. It’s Spring. There are glorious butterflies feeding on glorious flowers in our glorious organic gardens. Oh, and also aphids. Blech. I hate aphids. For those of us in Florida, they’re already here. I’ve been seeing them for a few weeks now. They’ve latched onto my Calendula and Oleander already, and I fear it won’t be long before they’re on my flowering tomato plants. For those of you a little farther north and/or west, you may not have these little jerks yet (and hopefully you won’t), but just in case, here are a couple organic remedies to try:
1. Good, old-fashioned powerful blast of water: Yellow aphids have made their way to my oleander more than once. They latch onto newly forming flower buds and attempt to suck them dry. Instead of putting any harmful sprays or costly organic sprays on them, I go right for the hose. With the nozzle on the most powerful setting possible, I go for broke. Holding each flower cluster in my hand, I spray all sides. The aphids fall off in an instant and the grass and neighboring plants get a nice watering. At first, I was afraid that the aphids would find their way to my other plants, but that’s never happened. Because they’re soft-bodied, I’m not sure they survive the blast. This works every single time, but you’ve got to be thorough when spraying.
2. Soapy water: My Instagram friend, Justin Gay (@theSeedsofXanxadu), has a YouTube video called “How I Handle Aphids.” Not only does he show how to identify them, but he shows exactly how to mix the concoction and how/when to spray. Not only does he love gardening and our Mother Earth, but he’s a really engaging guy and super fun to watch. Click here for his video.
Gardening is a lot of work, and organic gardening is even more so. But it’s worth it. It’s necessary to control pests in a way that preserves and protects our beautiful and essential pollinators like bees and butterflies. It’s also important to know we’re feeding our loved ones clean and healthy food.
There’s a lot to learn about eco-friendly gardening practices, but there’s a lot of wisdom out there. Thank goodness for people who love to share their successes and failures with the world. Our organic gardening community is growing all the time; the bank of knowledge is tremendous and “deposits” are being made daily. Thanks to those conscious gardeners like Justin who willingly share their experiences with the rest of us.
Until next time, happy Spring, happy gardening, and happy harvesting.