Why use harmful chemicals to rid your garden of aphids? There are plenty of alternative solutions. Spray them away. Introduce predatory insects. Plant something they don’t like or plant something their enemies do like. The choice is yours. As an avid gardener and green advocate, here are a few things I’ve used successfully to rid my garden of leaf chewing aphids.
Believe it or not, sometimes a little ice water will kill aphids without having to take further measures. Just spray it on the infestation. The shock of the cold water will cause the aphids to drop. Be sure you have something handy to catch them in for disposal.
Hot pepper spray
Aphids abhor spicy hot peppers. Since I grow peppers yearly, I use homemade pepper spray as an insecticide. It’s simple to make. Just shake up a few crushed peppers in water, strain and fill a spray bottle with the remaining liquid.
Alcohol burns aphids. It also burns some plants. (Test it on a single leaf first.) Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 alcohol 2/3 water. Spray liberally on the infestation daily until the aphids have dropped off.
Aphids detest garlic. Shake up a little garlic oil (or chopped garlic) with some water in a spray bottle. Any plant sprayed with this mixture will repel aphids and some other leaf chewing insects. It won’t harm vegetation and can be used as a preventative measure.
Ladybugs are the most effective predators against aphids. They can be purchased online or encouraged to inhabit your garden. You already have the most attractive item for ladybugs (aphids). Planting marigolds, dill, cilantro and fennel helps too.
In addition to attracting predators with plants they like, you can repel aphids with plants they hate.
Planting basil near your tomatoes gives them a unique flavor and provides the basil with needed shade. It also serves to keep aphids away.
Allium family plants
Aphids do not like onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and other allium family plants. Instead of creating an allium patch, spread these repellant plants liberally around the garden to keep aphids at bay. They won’t go near them.
Hot peppers work as a repellant spray (see above) and as a repellant planting. Planting peppers in alternate rows around the garden will keep aphids off neighboring plants.
Note: Before planting repellant plants, be sure they are good companions for their neighbors. Allium and peppers in particular will impact the growth of some other plants.
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