Aphids (greenfly, blackfly, whitefly etc) can be a real pain in the veg patch. They’re not particularly fussy and will happily make themselves at home on many of your veg plants. The results? Yellowing leaves, distorted growth and a general stickiness as they secrete their honeydew. So, how do you avoid the problem without resorting to chemical pesticides?
- Make sure you attract lots of aphid-eating bugs, like ladybirds and lacewings. Do this by planting plenty of mint, chives and coriander nearby.
- Be sure to keep ants away as ants only encourage more aphids.
- Plant aphid attracting flowers to lure the aphids away from your veg. Nasturtiums, hollyhocks and dahlias are all popular with aphids, and they look pretty too. When planting the flowers, it’s wise to do so a good few metres away.
- Plant plenty of garlic, spring onions, and onions in amongst your other vegetables – aphids aren’t very fond of the smell so tend to stay away.
- Give any aphid-ridden plants a good strong water spray with the garden hose to wash them off. Do this once or twice a day until the plant is aphid free.
- Pinch them off with your fingers where you can.