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?
Attract aphid-eating bugs like ladybirds and lacewings:
Ladybirds and lacewings feed on aphids, so encouraging them into your kitchen garden can help. You can attract more predators this by planting certain plants, for example:
Lure aphids away from your veg:
Nasturtiums, hollyhocks and dahlias are all popular with aphids, and they look pretty too. You can plant these flowers a few metres away from your vegetables to help keep aphids away from your crops.
Repel aphids with garlic and onions:
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.
What if my vegetable plants are affected by aphids?
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. You can often pinch off part of the plant to remove an entire colony of aphids without affecting the rest of the plant as well which is worth a try.