Neem those aphids into oblivion!

aphids on roseYes they are starting to arrive – the sucking insects. The first flutter of whitefly in my greenhouse dwarf beans and the first few aphids on the unopened buds on my roses. There may also be scale on your citrus and soon we’ll be on the look out for psyllids on the Solanaceae. The answer for all of these is the same – Neem (don’t you adore it when one bottle = many solutions!)

Two roads to travel here:

1. Have trust in your gardens resilience, in your carefully crafted strength and diversity and leave nature to run its course. Perhaps giving a helping hand by squashing a few sticky suckers in situ.

2. Or if your garden is young and still on its journey to this most heavenly of places then you must do something early. As in now, as in November! Neem is your friend. When ingested, it ruins the childbearing and digestive  abilities. It’s not a knock everything dead killer like pyrethrum, rhubarb or garlic. Cast all those indiscriminate (albeit natural) poisons aside and reach for the Neem.

Spray every fortnight in a religious fashion to keep up with new eggs hatching until the aphids/ thrips etc ebb away. Then again at the first stirrings of new populations throughout the summer. Spray in the evening when the bees have gone to bed, or in the morning before they come to work.

a healthy colony of aphids

The Right Tools For The Job

  • Not all Neem is created equal… The Neem I recommend is here
  • And get a back pack sprayer! I lovelovelove with my battery powered one. My left bicep is enjoying the rest :). Spray goes alot further too. Efficient/ simple missions we love!
  • Crop covers do a great job of keeping aphids of your crops, but you need to clean up the established population first.

ladybugs hibernatingBeneficial Insects To The Rescue

There’s crew of beneficials available – not just bees and ladybirds! Feed ’em and they will come. House them and they will stay. Well worth having on your team – they take care of the bulk of the pest management, leaving you to get on with other things.

Have you got plenty of nectar/ pollen rich flowers on the go?