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Holy aphids Batman!

Posted by Bear999 8 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 15, 13 at 12:33

With the arctic freeze moving on, I went out yesterday and opened the cloches to vent them and get a closer look at the plants. What do I find on the kale? That's right...aphids! In December! Seriously? I thought aphids only stuck around during the warm weather. What are they doing munching on my plants now?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

You realize that a cloche helps keep the plant warm, don't you?

When it comes to aphids, there's winter aphids and summer aphids.
What are those aphids doing? Feeding to keep up their strength!


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

I don't know if it will help you, but when I brought in my cymbidium orchids, the flower stems were covered with aphids. I put them in the bathtub and sprayed thoroughly with neem oil. That took care of all of the aphids.

From what I read, neem oil is safe to use on most plants.


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

Nice to have vegetables this time of year!

I don't know if it will help you, but when I brought in my cymbidium orchids, the flower stems were covered with aphids. I put them in the bathtub and sprayed thoroughly with neem oil. That took care of all of the aphids.

From what I read, neem oil is safe to use on most plants.


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

Hey Bear, thanks for the advice. Neem oil and I became very good friends this year, but I stopped using it after I found out my wife was pregnant. I read some articles that claimed neem oil can mess around with fetuses, especially in laboratory animals. None of it was definitive, but I figured better safe than sorry, so I stopped using it temporarily. I plan to resume using it after the baby is born.

My goal for 2013 was to go the entire year without purchasing greens from the supermarket. Unfortunately, my wife came home couple of weeks ago from the store with a bag of greens. :( She thought the week-long cold spell killed most of the plants. Oh well...I guess I'll have to try again next year!


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

Consider the Russian Kales, no cloche needed for good winter greens here, and they will self seed if you let them, lol.

For the aphids, if your hose is hooked up you can use a strong stream of water to knock them off and take out most of them. Their predators are mostly dormant this time of year, even if the plants were out in the open, so some kind of active control is going to be necessary.

An oil made from some combination of salad oil, tobasco sauce and a little liquid soap may also work well, just remember its a contact poison so you need to go at it from underneath for it to be effective. It will wash right off the plants when you want to eat the leaves.


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

Doesn't Kale handle a freeze pretty good? Take the cover off one of these nights when the temperature gets below freezing and see if the aphids die. That last cold spell should have killed the aphids with, or without, the cover.
Mike


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

Greenmann, thanks for the advice. How much oil, tabasco sauce, and soap do you use to make a gallon of solution?

Mike, I'm finding out that some kale handle freezing weather better than others. My Red Russian kale did just fine with the week-long freeze back in December. My Italian kale, however, took a beating (even with the cloche). It looks like I lost about half of the Italian kale plants. :( These were all mature plants, not seedlings or young transplants.


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RE: Holy aphids Batman!

For the insecticidal soap, I kind of do it by feel, lol... a double squirt of soap, a glug of tobasco (if I use it, more often than not I don't have it, and it seems to work either way, but the recipe I was given used to so... lol), and a glug of oil. Shake well in a typical dollar store little spray bottle, and have at it. Shake vigorously every few minutes, as the oil will separate quickly.

If you want a more concrete formula, google it. It's a pretty standard "do it yourself" type insecticidal spray. Some people add vinegar or for some things, rubbing alcahol to make it a little more aggressive, but be careful to test to make sure it won't harm your plants. These can be caustic enough to harm the leaves of the plants in higher concentrations, so you may need to test it, and add a little more water if its affecting the plants too.


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