Aphid Update

Dead Aphids

The soap spray (we used liquid Dr. Bronner’s organic castille soap after the first day) is quite effective, and doesn’t seem to bother the plants. Above you can see the blacked, dead remains of a once-thriving aphid colony on a brussel sprout leaf.

Unfortunately, the aphids were multiplying faster than we could spray them, which with a kitchen spray bottle and five long rows of brassicas to spray is very tedious and frustrating work.

(A friend recently informed me that aphids can be BORN PREGNANT, since they reproduce parthenogenically. They certainly do breed at an alarming rate)

The brussel sprout (left) and purple cabbage (right) below are lamentably completely overrun by aphids.

Infested Brussels Overrun Purple Cabbage

There was still hope, however.

Ladybugs for Sale Another organic method of pest control was still available to us. Natural predators. Rebecca picked up a plastic container of 1000 ladybugs for us at Zamzows. We released them after our first night at market.

Ladybugst

We were concerned about them all flying away, and while not all of them stuck around, I see four or five a day as I putter around the garden. I was particularly excited to find the ladybug larva in the image below on a brussels leaf.

Ladybug Larva on a Brussles Sprout

Between the ladybugs, the occasional spray with cold water from the hose, and a bi- to tri-weekly soap treatment (focusing mainly on the actual edible sprouts themselves, which bud off of the central stalk) the aphids are very nearly under control. While only three very large brussels plants made it through, we should get some sprouts off of them and are better equipped to deal with possible aphids on the new flat of brassicas Sarah picked up from Beth this week. (We planted some broccoli and cabbage this morning.)

click images for larger view
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