Monday, June 4, 2012

aphids sucking the fun out of gardening

When I decided that I'd start a garden on the balcony that I would not have to deal with pests that many gardeners have to deal with. I was wrong. I had wrote about the gross infestation of black cherry aphids on my strawberry plants, which I resolved with an organic insecticide. I had little annoying winged insects too but I thought nothing much about them. They didn't seem to be causing any damage to the plants.

Then recently, I discovered aphids (the green kind) spread through out the balcony garden. I was annoyed and upset because I was wasting time battling these annoying green pests instead of spending quality time with the plants. I sprayed the plants with the organic insecticide and for good measure, I also bought a container of ladybugs. Most of the lady bugs have either left or died the next day. There were some that were crawling around or hanging out. Hopefully, they have eaten whatever aphids that remained and laid eggs around. Upon releasing the ladybugs, I couldn't help but notice that many ladybugs were getting it on with each other.


Ladybug on hollyhock stem

Ladybug on root pouch

Ladybug on hot pepper plant

Dealing with the aphids not only annoyed me but it was taking the fun out of gardening for me. I can deal with toiling out on the balcony on a hot and sunny day but seeing aphids sucking the juices of my plants is upsetting. And trying to rid them drains my energy and enthusiasm. It bothered me that my plants were being attacked by aphids. The balcony is high up; where are these damn aphids coming from? There is a possibility that they may have come from the plants I purchased from the greenmarket.

I did a bit of investigation to understand where these damn pests come from, and found a website that explained this. Reading the report made me feel a little better because at least I now understand how the aphids get around.

Luckily, the damage seems to be minimal as I caught them before they really spread and multiplied although they may return and infest again... :(

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