When it comes to an organic garden, you need to be very careful with your pests control methods. Luckily, there are a lot of natural ways through you can avoid the pests. Today’s topic is to control the aphid’s population since they have the ability to do some serious damage to the crops. Let’s take a look below to see these simple, easy, and completely organic methods to avoid the aphids.
The least toxic way to deal with the aphids is to use the cultural methods in the garden. At the very first place, your job is to keep the aphid populations at its least. Some of the tested suggestions are given below:
- Weed Control: Make sure to control the weeds because they are a perfect place for aphids to hide and make their homes. Your job is only to cut the weeds as soon as possible.
- Ant Population Control: Ants try to get together and secure the aphids from predators because they gain the milk from honeydew produced. Make sure that you are using the ant control methods.
- Avoid Excess Nitrogen: Don’t add a large amount of nitrogen at once. Aphids love to reach the new crops helped by nitrogen. Try to use an organic fertilizer, which provides continous supply of nutrients.
- Crop Rotation: Never opt to grow susceptible crops in the same soil every year. Make sure that you are trying various crops in one part of the garden.
- Remove infested leaves: Strip the leaves infested with aphids. This will remove aphids and promotes healthy leaves as well as providing good air circulation.
- Plants that attract beneficals: Plant things that attract beneficial insects such as sweet alyssum, yarrow, sweet fennel, sweet clover, Queen Anne’s lace, or hairy vetch. Mixes such as PVFS Good Bug Blends are great choices to plant along side the garden. This mix contains seeds which will provide a perfect habitat and nectar for beneficial insects.
Black Bean Aphid feeding on a stem
Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, syrphid fly larvae and parasitic wasps enjoy an aphid dinner. Keep plants around the garden that will attract these beneficials (see above).
Don’t reach for the chemicals just yet. There are still several non-chemical controls that can be implemented. Aphids are soft-bodied and can be killed by rubbing (squishing) them with a cloth or blasting them with a strong stream of water. The Bug Blaster Spray Nozzle attached to a garden hose works wonders!
Floating rowcovers can be draped over plants before aphids have time to establish a foot hold tasty plants. Lastly, Green Sticky Traps can be placed throughout the garden where aphids are a problem. The green color attracts aphids to the sticky card. You might also catch some thrips and hoppers with the card as well.
Organic Chemical Controls
The use of chemicals should be the last resort at controlling aphids. Organically-based chemicals are a better choice than synthetic, harsh chemicals and the organic chemicals cause less damage to beneficial insects. Products such as Insecticidal Soaps and Organocide are labeled for use on soft-bodied insects like aphids.