How to prepare raised beds for spring after aphid infestation?

wildatheartFebruary 11, 2014

My entire winter garden save radishes was lost to aphids and the freak ice storm. THe aphids ate all of my cabbages, kale, any lettuce sprouts that managed to come up, as well as broccoli and cauliflower. I never even saw my beets. Interestingly, they did not touch my strawberry plants that were planted on the other end of the large bed.
I am not looking to lose such a large crop again, So I am wondering if there is anything I need to do to prepare the affected soil before I sew any seeds or plant any seedlings? I did strong garlic soap spray, to no avail.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I wonder if you had/have pill bugs and/or slugs. Aphids don't eat plants, they leech juices from them. Pill bugs and slugs (and other critters like caterpillars) actually eat foliage. They ate all of my lettuce sprouts last year too.

The best way to prepare soil for gardening is to add some compost to the surface.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:45AM
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I should have been more clear and not said "ate". They shriveled them up and turned them to mush. I could see the aphids, so I knew it was them. We do have slugs too, but I try to keep those at bay and they were not a problem with the kale or cabbage.

I brought in a load of compost in October and they were planted directly in to that mixed with some sand/topsoil that we already had. My entire garden is black with compost, so I think (I hope?) I'm good there.
I have been thinking of going out and planting some test peas (aphids got those late last winter) in another bed and seeing what happens.

Thanks for your reply!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Good soapy water will kill your aphids as well as the ants that bring them. They ants are your problem, get rid if them and your aphid problem will go away.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 1:23AM
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