Six on Saturday April 9th

Joining the Propagator and other gardeners from around the world for another Six.

1. Aphids! So very many aphids. And the only ladybugs I have seen were on a fennel that did not appear to be afflicted. I have been resisting the impulse to reach for horticultural oil or soap, hoping that natural predators would take on the challenge, but my patience is wearing thin.

2. Vegetable garden path edging. A little messy, a little sharp, but at least the narrow pathway is now delineated.

3. Verge. Looking far better than expected, though my second golden rain tree lags substantially behind the first and looks generally sickly. It may have to be replaced.

4. Seedlings. The sowing continues. This batch includes tomatoes, cardoons, malabar spinach, and several flowers. The pots of seeds that overwintered out of doors are also beginning to sprout. I am particularly excited about my milkweed and California Dutchman’s pipe.

5. Wisteria. Excised from my neighbor’s yard, hacked at, with few remaining roots, the wiateria is nevertheless showing signs of life. Green buds have emerged from trunk and branches. Now to build a trellis sturdy enough to bear its weight.

6. Flowers. Bergenia, verbena, bluebells(?), borage, Henderson’s shooting star, spurge and ajuga, strawberry, blueberry, kale, dogwood.


20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday April 9th

    • Yes, it was quite an infestation. Sprayed with dishsoap and water this morning after taking these pictures, left a while, then rinsed with water. I plan to check back on a daily basis to determine if further intervention is required.


  1. 1 tbs dishwashing liquid for 1L of water against aphids. But I’m sure you know that already.
    Many new flowers to come! I started my milkweed 3 weeks ago in my heated bench and I think it was too soon! My plants are about 50cm tall 😱… I have to slow them down a bit.

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  2. I saw ladybirds (or ladybugs – more accurate really!) mating just the other day, give them a bit of time and they’ll be there. Aphids do get a head start at the beginning of the season, I find, but by May-June the ladybird/bug larvae and the birds (here great tits which nest in the garden and like to feed their young on aphids) will magically arrive. Hope the Wisteria does well for you, it’s a beautiful thing in flower.

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  3. I’m having a similar issue with aphids on my remaining elder. I was squishing them this afternoon when I spotted a ladybird nearby and a hoverfly laying eggs (I think) amongst the blighters so I stopped and figured I should leave some – fingers crossed the predators start doing their thing soon over there and here.

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  4. Pingback: Six on Saturday – April 9, 2022 – Gardening in the Prairie

  5. Lovely!
    It may be that the fennel is not afflicted BECAUSE of the ladybugs you saw there. When I gardened in Seattle, I found opium poppies to be an excellent trap crop for black aphids. The aphids would congregate under the leaves where I could not see them, and once they were sucking opium, they were hooked and didn’t want to do anything else. They did not affect the flowers, and the flowers don’t work as cut flowers anyway, so no loss there!, I also would get aphids on my nasties, but I like eating nasturtium leaf and flower, so although I did not have problems with aphids on my veg, I disliked finding them on the nasties. Jealous of the kale. Last year I had some overwinter, unusual in my area, so I had lovely blooms hat the bees enjoyed very much, and a lot of kale as well. I imagine that seeds will be germinating before long and baby kale is in my future.

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  6. Good tip regarding the opium poppies. Right now, the kale seems to be attracting both whiteflies and aphids of the green sort. I cut out a few of the more heavily infested plants, but left some in bloom for the pollinators.


  7. I’d not have been able to resist squashing a good proportion of the aphids, just to give the plant a chance while the predators get their act together. More plant growth ultimately means more food for the heterotrophs, when all is said and done.

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  8. That is true. Where I am it is too cold for most growth and most insects, though the neighborhood birds were definitely scavenging what they could find under the dry leaves. Me hoping that they are getting Japanese beetle larvae, though they may still be a bit deep for bird feeding.

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