Aphid Attack

I’m not really the most mindful gardener. If I thinned my lettuce–and pulled up the old lettuce plants–I’d probably get aphids later in the season.  Supposedly the abrupt presence of an aphid colony indicates a garden out of balance. Oh well. Every February when we have our first warm spell of 3+ days in the 70s and mild nights my beautiful winter lettuce crop becomes…..inedible. At least for me. It’s impossible to wash off aphids and I don’t like a salad with little things moving around on the leaves.

But, if you’re a chicken, it’s a different story. I picked all my lettuce the other day, loaded it into 5 gallon buckets, and gave it all to an administrative assistant at the hospital where I work: she has chickens. Apparently, her chickens were very happy with the–to them–inexplicable bounty.

I picked most of my kale in the other bed, washed, chopped and froze it; it’s aphid-free at this point, and, I must say, extremely yummy steamed and eaten with nothing added.:

The tomato cage is in the bed for nights when there’s a freeze; I just throw an old bed sheet over the whole bed and the cage props it up. Some poppies have self-seeded in the bed, too. There are also scallions and pansy volunteers.

March 15th is about the last frost date in Tucson; then I’ll plant my summer plants: tomatoes, beans, cukes for pickles.

3 thoughts on “Aphid Attack

    • I would’ve purchased ladybugs, if there were any locally; they aren’t for sale at garden shops in Tucson until it’s warmer, and by then my need is gone. I’ve seen one “wild” ladybug so far. Lacewings are also good for aphid control. I think my problem here is that I just didn’t thin out the old lettuce. At one point this winter my raised bed looked like a giant head of butter lettuce.

  1. Aphids already? wow… something must be up with your soil.

    As for supporting those tomato plants, I highly recommend the Tomato Stake http://www.thetomatostake.com

    Its a simple yet very sturdy plastic stake with support ties built right in. Ive been using them for 3 years now and just ordered more. (I’ll be planting 25 tom plants in my garden this year).

    Best of luck!

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