The rains we've had over the last couple of weeks have been great for the plants, but it has also made the slugs very happy. They've been holding slimy social gatherings all over the garden and guess who has been supplying the catering - me. Cabbages, broccoli, strawberries, zinnias, green beans, rhubarb and radishes - quite the buffet!
|This poor zinnia was victim to a slug attack.|
I will still hand pick as I check my plants. Early morning and at dusk are the best times to find them and after it rains. Beer traps, which are bowls full of beer left amongst the plants, do catch some slugs but they need to be changed frequently. The crushed egg shells are supposed to cut the slug's sensitive bellies as they move over them, acting as a barrier, but I found it completely ineffectual.
|A mommy aphid with her babies, how cute - NOT!|
In all my years of gardening, this is only the second year aphids have appeared on my tomatoes and they seem quite at home. I first see them on the stalks of the plants. Turn the leaves over and there are the eggs and the young. Infestation.
|OK, maybe the babies are a little cute.|
I crush them as I see them and you can spray strong bursts of water to try and dislodge them but the only real way to get rid of them is to spray and keep spraying.
|Neem Oil Extract mixed with water and ready to be sprayed.|
I use neem oil extract, which is a safe organic treatment. It comes in oil form which you mix with water and spray onto the front and backs of the leaves and stems. Once I see them, I spray every two weeks.
|A lady bug larvae eating an aphid. Eat as much as you want!|
|The little flea beetle 'artists'. Find another canvas!|
Neem oil spray will also work on flea beetles who are turning my eggplant leaves into intricate, lace inspired works of art, which are actually quite beautiful until the leaf turns yellow and dies. I also have these beetles on my carrots and tomatoes. They don't seem very picky.
|They sit on the fence, chirp and flick their tails at me as I garden.|
How are you dealing with your uninvited guests?
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