Preparing against aphids

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ccoulson
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Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 2015-04-18 14:14
Preparing against aphids

I have now lost two Aerogrow crops to aphids.  The first was a 7-pod Herb kit, and despite hearing that aphids don't like mint, it didn't seem to help.  I cleaned the unit very well and didn't seem to have any aphids around.  I then planted a 7-pod cherry tomato and that chili kit that got completely overrun by aphids - even worse than the first one.  As before, I tried rinsing the plants under water, using an anti-aphid soap spray, etc.  I ended up dumping this one as well.  This time, I left the (dry) aerogrow and have not seen any evidence of aphids.  I have other live plants both inside and outside the house that have no aphids - they only seem to like the aerogrow!

I am about to start another 7-pod cherry heirloom cherry tomato kit and looking for any suggestions to prevent aphids from coming back.  Are there other plants I should put near the garden?  Are their sprays or pestsripts that will keep them away?

Thanks!

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strawberryguy
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Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 2015-12-22 23:10
I can empathize, I've been

I can empathize, I've been fighting aphids on strawberries. Because I ship the plants nationally I can't have even one aphid or the inspectors will have the shipment destroyed. I don't know of a way to keep them from coming in other than a room with insect screen and double screen door entrance. They can even be carried into a building on your clothing.

In greenhouses some use what are called "banker plants" like wheat. The wheat attracts the aphids followed by predators and parasites of the aphids. The aphids in the wheat are never sprayed so a population continues to feed the predators and parasites. Because they are "born alive" rather than going through stages the populations can explode from even one aphid.

I have found that Azamax (neem) at 1 tbsp/gal or Pyganic at the same rate do a great job of controlling them. Both are OMRI (organic). Rotating between the two is a good way of keeping them on their toes so to speak. A small spray bottle works well for small spaces like Aerogardens. 

Michael Wellik

The Strawberry Store, LLC

Middletown, DE

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