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Getting rid of aphids.

I was out to gather some kale the other day and was disappointed to find a bunch covered in aphids, proving that they can pop up anywhere and at any time.

This may partly be my own fault, as the bed the kale is in has been a little neglected, and the soil needs a boost and it is because the soil is a little tiered and not giving the best nutrients to the plant, that it has become susceptible to an attack. Once again, as much for myself as anyone else, the best defense against predators is to keep the soil vibrant and full of life.

Other than spotting the actual aphids, the other indicators are the growth starting to look a little bit deformed, and leaves that are yellowed and weak looking.

You can use chemicals to get rid of aphids, however these will often kill the good as well as the bad, like ladybugs, which are definitely there to help the gardener and need to be kept alive. Chemicals also remain on the plant and can impact the critters living in the soil. So, all round, the use of chemicals can be as harmful as they can be a solution, but most of all, it is also contrary to the reason we are gardening in the first place. Those that want chemicals on their fruit and veg, can get that easily enough from the supermarket.

An alternative is an easy to prepare home solution, made from

-          1 litre of water

-          1 tablespoon of natural detergent

-          1 tablespoon of olive oil

-          And a good shake till the oil blends in

-          Use a sprayer and soak the plant well – drench the plant in the solution – top, bottom, up and down, in and out!

You will need a lot of this to really drench the infected plants and may need to make up a lot more than 1 litre.

So, keep an eye on the kale as it is an early indicator of aphids and get drenching if you see any signs of the little pests!