Tag Archives: aphids

The gardener’s best friend

When we returned recently from holiday we found, as is to be expected at this time of year, a growth explosion in the glasshouses and polytunnel, and a most unwelcome population explosion of aphids. There are often one or two times in the year when aphids can become problematic. The first attack of the year typically occurs on the broad beans. At that early time of the year there can be insufficient numbers of predators to keep them under control, and the gardener may need to intervene to prevent significant loss of crop. Generally a little later in the year, fruit trees and bushes are another popular target for aphids, where they can cause a fair bit of damage to the young leaves and shoots. It was on our fruit trees that we noticed a substantial infestation that was not present when we left. Continue reading

Where are the ladybirds?

I posted recently regarding blackfly on our broad beans. There I mentioned my expectation that our healthy population of ladybirds would soon assist in addressing this pest. However, we have not seen a single ladybird this year; not that we have been looking out for them, specifically, but we are usually inundated with them. I fear, then, that the population has much declined this last year, and we may, then, have to resort to a spray of a mild solution of soft soap to control the blackfly. Continue reading

Blackfly on the broad beans

Blackfly on broad beans

Blackfly has arrived on the outdoor broad beans. In typical fashion, there was no sign of them until, seemingly overnight, the hoards moved in and covered the top six inches or more of stem. Their arrival should not, however, cause a rush to spray with any nasty stuff as they are readily dealt with using simple organic methods. Continue reading