This is the first in a series on how to deal with garden pests chemical free.
Garden pests—we all get them, but how do you deal with the pests without spraying chemicals on your food? No worries, we are here to help!
The first garden pests we’ll deal with are aphids. Aphids also come in variety of colors ranging from bright green to brown or even pink. These little buggers are so small, sometimes you cannot even see them on your plants.
So how do you know they are there? The leaves of your plants will begin to curl and turn yellow. The plants will also feel sticky and ants will be attracted to this sticky substance.
For a pest so small, they can cause a lot of damage on your young plants as well as your established plants. They feed on plant juices by attacking leaves, stems, flowers, buds and even the roots. Basically they will suck your plant dry potentially killing if left untreated.
So what is a chemical free gardener to do? Luckily you have quite a few options! A few seasons ago the Good Sweet Earth garden was attacked full force by aphids. I promptly ordered a slew of ladybugs. The beneficial ladybug feeds on aphids and controls the population. After a few days I didn’t see any aphids or ladybugs, but thankfully the ladybugs come back each season. While waiting on the ladybugs in the mail I blasted my plants with cold water and also used a mix of soapy water to spray on the bottom of the leaves. Dusting your plants with flour can also deter aphids.
If you see aphids or suspect aphids in your garden don’t stress! You are now armed with a plan of attack to save your season.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.