One day your plants are all happy and healthy with their flowers smiling towards the sun…the next day, they are droopy, with yellowed leaves and hanging their flowers like a dejected teen who has had his first go round of asking out a girl go horribly awry.
Upon closer inspection….. APHIDS!
Millions of the little suckers ALL over the leaves and stems sucking the life blood out of your hard earned efforts. Plus, here I was at the Homestead, 30 minutes from the closest store and I was refusing to jump in the car wasting precious gas and spending money on a product to eliminate them when I know I could handle them myself.
I rarely let the creatures Mother Nature throws at my gardening efforts beat me, even the young Groundhog a couple months ago was no match for me. Once he received a blast of water from a garden hose in the concrete cinder block he was hiding in, he soon scampered off, thoroughly soaked and with a mighty bruised ego to boot, never to be seen again.
But back to the task at hand, which was mixing up some stuff to rid me of my current dilemma. The best thing to use to get rid of Aphids are Lady Bugs, but I haven’t seen a Lady Bug up here at ALL. So the next best thing was to mix up a batch of Insecticidal Soap and soak the little critters from stem to stern.
Here is all you need:
Fill a 16 ounce Spray Bottle almost to the top with water, leaving about an inch of room. Add a Tbsp of Oil (Canola Oil, Olive Oil, doesn’t matter what kind) and then add about 2 Tbsp Liquid Dish Soap. Swirl gently (do not shake vigourously or you end up with a mass of bubbles.
Spray the entire plant that is affected by the Aphids, being sure to coat all surfaces of the plant stem and leaves (undersides too) and any flower heads. The plant should be dripping when you are done.
Repeat once a day for 3 days in the early morning before the heat of the sun can evaporate the application…and Voila…Aphids eliminated. Your flowers will now be happy again and will even sing and dance for you.
How does it work you ask? Well, Aphids are soft bodied creatures and the soap is absorbed through their skin which is what kills them. The water is a means to get the soap onto them via the spray bottle and the oil is only there to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate before the soap does the job. Simple. Easy. Cheap. And I am all about Cheap.