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Dealing with aphids
I had hoped that the ultra-harsh winter weather would decimate overwintering populations of pests. This would go at least some way towards making up for all the bay trees and mimosas that gardeners lost during the cold spell.
The outcome of the prolonged cold remains to be seen, yet I’m convinced that the aphids starting breeding earlier than ever this year. My dwarf runner beans, growing in massive pots, were the first victims, followed by the overwintering geraniums and pelargoniums.
Now, with the increasingly warm weather, the aphids are happily multiplying on just about any fresh, soft growth that they can find. In a bid to thwart them I’ve tried the trick of hanging bird feeders on shrubs. The blue tits form an orderly queue for the feeder (they really do!) and, while they’re waiting, they pass the time by searching for food on the stems and branches where they’re sat. This has made some difference, I’m pleased to note.
I’ve also been zapping some of the aphids with fatty acid spray and I may yet resort to blasting them off buds with the hose. The aphids seem determined to restore pre-winter population levels, so it looks like I have a fight on my hands…
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