aphids all over cilantro and dill- can i still get seeds?

stickgarden(z10 CA/ Sunset 21)July 30, 2007

I had let my cilantro and dill plants bolt, and they were developing lots of seeds- but today I finally realized what that black stuff was all over- aphids! I'm new to gardening, I guess I never saw them before. I pulled out the cilantro plant but then saw the ladybugs all over the dill, and left it alone. My question is- I would like to reseed a large area of the garden with the seeds from these herbs, but if they're covered with aphids and the black stuff, are the seeds ruined? I just hate to buy seeds when I already made some for free! I'm pretty sure I can't use it for coriander, that seems really gross.

What do I do next?

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valentinetbear(z6 PA)

How about washing the bugs off, then dry the seeds?! I just froze out some tiny bugs off my rose petals by putting the petals in a plastic bag and stuck it in the freezer. (Killed the bugs, but, still had to wash the petals, which wilted in the water. Doh! LOL)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 12:11AM
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Don't wash off the ladybugs! They're attacking the aphids for you! Collect them up and take them somewhere else in the garden. THEN wash off the aphids.

Put a little bag over the flowerhead (the toe end of pantyhose, maybe) and attach it securely but not too tight, then give the stem a shaking. If the seeds are ripe, they'll fall into the bag, making for easy collection. Make sure the bag is made of a material which allows IN the sunlight, and OUT the water.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I would not use the seeds from a plant that has been infested with critters. Plants will allocate some of their valuable energy resouces towards damage recovery. That means that they might not have the reserves to manufacture strong, productive seeds. There is only so much that plants can do with their carbon resources, and they always send them to where they are needed most. Damage control taps into the energy that may have been used for seed production.

I'm a FIRM believer that seeds should be harvested only from vigorous, healthy plants. Remember, seeds are nothing more than the future plant, in embryonic form. Give it the best beginning possible.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:12PM
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stickgarden(z10 CA/ Sunset 21)

Rhizo- that was kind of what i was wondering- whether the quality of the seeds would be compromised. But does it make sense if I fight off the aphids on the dill, which isn't finished making the seeds yet? If I can successfully get rid of the bugs, then the seeds should be fine, right? I've rinsed off the aphids, haven't checked yet today to see if they're back. I'm brewing up some garlic oil (I found the recipe somewhere in one of these forums) to spray them with- I'm pretty obsessively organic, but I don't really know what I'm doing half the time :) There's only one way to learn, right?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 5:27PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

As long as you can keep the aphids under control for most of your dill's life, I'd say that the seeds will be fine. I've had most luck with plain water and squishing....and using neem oil when the problem seems especially troublesome.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:26PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Never saw an single aphid on any of my dill here. If your just flicking them off plants, that will only allow them to reproduce more. Neem is useful for all plants and aphids will quickly die if they come in contact with the neem. Its an all natural product and has been used succesfully for many herbs as well as most all garden vegetables and fruits.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 4:20PM
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stickgarden(z10 CA/ Sunset 21)

yeah, i thought that it was ironic- the only two plants they attacked (so far) are the ones that are supposedly not attractive to them. Whatever, the more I know, the less I understand. Just have to keep at it anyway!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:20PM
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