Fighting aphids! And winning (Follow-up post about garden pests) + crazy success in broccolini harvest

This image of my wilted pansie plant may not be the most accurate depiction of victory against the aphids. Image

But this photo was taken before I’d realized the plant was wilting because I’ve been neglecting my watering duties! To my relief, the plant immediately bounced back to its normal luscious-self after some watering, and I also discovered that my organic garlic spray worked after all! (link to previous post here: http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/the-joys-of-garden-pests-crappy-home-made-organic-aphids-spray-my-murderous-propensities-and-harvesting-baby-spinach-leaves/). Also owing to my perseverance in spraying at least twice a day.

According this older lady friend of mine (experienced gardener), the white wilted-looking insects (which can be seen on some of the leaves) are dead aphids! Something I have not known before! I’d thought they were simply juvenile or aphid larvae. Upon closer inspection, you would find they are not moving and completely shriveled up.

Scary right? I guess once aphids stopped eating and sucking the green plant juice, they’re just nothing but white exoskeletons… (High in calcium? They say insects are really quite nutritious – good fats and protein)

My friend’s advice on getting rid of aphids:

1. One tablespoon of grated plain unscented soap to one litre of water, use as a spray on infected plants.

2. Spray infected areas with a high pressure hose. Apparently this works quite well, but I feel the aphids can nevertheless climb back up…

In my opinion, the garlic spray may work better on the long-run as the sulfurous compounds may repel the aphids and prevent them from re-infecting the plant.

And more images of the leafminers in my spinach….

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This picture definitely showed that there were indeed leafminers in my spinach! (shivers!) At first glance, the ambiguous white lines didn’t look much like leafminers’ work (shown on my previous post), but since there were more pronounced lines on other leaves of the plant, this clearly confirms the existence of these pests on/in my spinach!

Will also experiment with using the garlic spray on leafminers/other pests! (Before the mixture sitting in the fridge goes bad)

(Signs of leafminers)

Onto a lighter note: my garden harvests which will make one’s eyes green with envy (because of the colour of the veggies)

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Broccoli shoots, some lettuce (from already bolted plant, still edible!) and coriander going to seed (also edible!)

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My broccolinis have been doing great this summer! The shoots just keep coming! (completely organic growing, no added fertilizer whatsoever! Except for some pellets (the round ones) that came with the starter soil last summer… So technically, not really organic?).

Check out the phyto-nutrients colour of the broccolini plant! The colours only occur on one of my broccolini plants which is very interesting! (Its position in the sun? The quality of soil? Who the heck knows!). Not sure if this was simply discolouring though (in old plant leaves) but tinges of purple along with red suggests otherwise. (I know that broccoli florets with a purple tinge are the most rich in nutrients, don’t know whether purple leaves suggest concentration of nutrients in the particular plant). I’ve got my own backyard antioxidant factory!

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A very densely populated (with florets) broccolini plant.

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This plant has a huge well-grown offshoot attached to the hip (mama’s boy), and the offshoot is already growing broccoli shoots in itself (the one near the back, in the previous image)

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I usually cut the larger florets, avoiding the smaller sprouting shoots, allowing them to grow into more florets instead of simply cutting them off (smart move, aye?).

Not so good-looking images:

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My crazy hydro-lettuce doing acrobatic moves (the power of plant hormone gibberellins!)

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Kale going into seed. I plan on collecting the seeds therefore I’ve let the plant go ugly before my eyes (trying hard to resist the urge to destroy the shoot…)Image

Earwig hiding in lettuce leaves! YUCK! I find them so often hiding in the lettuces in layers. In a way, their hiding behaviour is quite cute.. Like they’re in a peaceful slumber (this one wouldn’t even move when I tried to flick it off the leaf, hangover from a crazy night?).

But just beware of those nasties. Completely harmless to you or your plant, but can causes a scare when unsuspectingly harvesting (Always gave me such a jolt!).

Imagine digging into your pre-packed store-bought salad and finding an earwig sleeping in there. Haha.

This thought reminds me of this photo:

And something like this has actually happened!: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2035618/Mother-gets-frog-throat–finding-creature-bag-Tesco-SALAD.html

-Iz

2 thoughts on “Fighting aphids! And winning (Follow-up post about garden pests) + crazy success in broccolini harvest”

  1. I grow herbs and tomatoes and that’s about it as far as edibles for people goes. These have not had a problem with aphids. Some of my ornamentals attract a lot of aphids but lately I’ve just let them be and waited for other bugs to show up and eat them. Japanese beetles are another story.

    1. Apparently tomato leaves contain a natural insect/aphid repellent, and aphid sprays can actually be made from them. So it’s a good idea to grow tomato plants next to your most vulnerable plants I guess. Speaking of aphid-eaters, I recently found a ladybug on one of my broccolini’s leaf that was at least 0.5 mm big! Do you know if ladybugs vary that much in size?? Birds are also good aphid eaters but seem to prefer leftover bread 🙂
      Please tell me about Japanese beetles!!
      -Iz

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