The Persistent Aphids

Do you remember the aphids I had on my mustard greens and kale?

March 30th

I tried removing the most affected leaves and then spraying them with EndAll. It seemed to help in the short term, but I didn’t repeat the application of EndAll, and the aphids came back in full force.

A week or so after spraying the aphids, though, I happened to be listening to an organic gardening podcast (I won’t say which one), and they were talking about aphids. They said that we shouldn’t be spraying aphids (with organic chemicals or otherwise); aphids are part of the food chain, and if you leave the aphids be, they will attract aphid predators (birds and other bugs), which will take care of the aphids for you and contribute to a more diverse ecosystem.

Okay, great!

I left the aphids be…..

….several weeks later….

May 3rd

….the aphids were still just as vicious and my mustard greens and kale were looking a bit sad.

But I persisted…I didn’t spray or do anything to remove the aphids. Those aphid predators were supposed to arrive any day now, right?

I finally threw in the towel last weekend. The mustard greens were skeletons of what they once were, and there were still aphids.

The aphids weren’t as abundant as they were a few weeks back, but they had decimated most of the mustard greens anyway, so they probably moved on to greener pastures.

My Garden In May

This is a half-hearted update on the Palo Alto garden.

I’m leaving in a little over a month, so I really haven’t done anything to this garden. I’m slacking on watering too. But nevertheless, things are still growing….

My mint was neglected and died…but you can’t actually kill mint! I gave it a bit of water and it sprouted new leaves! It lives!!
The sweet peas are still doing remarkably well. No blooms yet, but I’m just happy the vines are still alive and looking happy.
Both geraniums bloomed. Geraniums are so easy. I should deadhead the one in the back.
The edible peas are growing nicely, and there are a couple of blooms, so if I’m lucky I will have two pea pods shortly…
The kale and mustard greens are essentially dead. The aphids got them.
I have one little lettuce (unknown variety) growing in a garden box.
The tomatoes are puny, too shaded, and underwatered. I can’t imagine these will produce any tomatoes ever.

Tomorrow I will have a (hopefully) more exciting update on the Portland garden.

Tovah Martin on Crotons

When I was in Portland way back in February, my croton houseplant was looking pretty sad.

Many of it’s leaves had dropped, and I didn’t think it had much time left in it. I wondered….is it not getting enough water? Too little sunlight?? No amount of water seemed to help, and I can’t do much about the sun in Portland in the winter.

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