I HATE APHIDS!

I HATE APHIDS!

i really really really do hate aphids. with all the wonderful, amazing and delicious qualities of Tower Gardens no one has yet to find one simple solution but we’re working on it! 

some important things to know BEFORE you start growing ESPECIALLY INSIDE:

  1. aphids are an evil cross between fruit flies and fleas (in my opinion). they seem to appear from nowhere and they multiply rapidly. 
  2. it is very important to keep a close eye for insects and have a prevention and treatment plan in place before you need it.
  3. yes, indoor gardens are susceptible to pests. i know it makes me mad too. indoor gardens do not have natural predators or the elements (wind and rain) to help us. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE LIGHT AIR MOVEMENT AROUND YOUR TOWER GARDEN.
  4. aphids (and other insects) can come from open doors, your pets, other indoor plants and your clothes.
  5. they are 90% a condition of the environment and 10% your seedlings whether you purchase from a seedling provider or you grow your own.  

it is SO important to have a pest prevention and treatment program in place. we HAVE to be diligent. that’s why Bret Bowlin says “hug your tower every day”. EVERY. DAY.

Tower Garden has a lot of great info about growing inside and pest management protocols.

Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Gardening

6 Simple Secrets for a Pest-Free Garden

The Ultimate Guide to Garden Pest Control

we also have Resources about Pests & Diseases on our website and we add more information all the time.

at ATL Urban Farms (as all seedling providers), we have a year-round pest and disease control protocols in place. we are committed to providing only the very best seedlings possible. Our mission every day is to provide healthy seedlings to grow healthy food for healthy families and communities. taking any risk is just not worth it for us or for you, our super awesome Tower Garden family.

still, for the reason listed above, we can’t guarantee seedlings from us will not arrive at your home without aphids. so here’s our deal:

  1. when you open your box if there is a sign of ANY pest of any kind, take pictures (this helps us identify problems we can fix), close the box and contact us immediately. we will replace your order at no cost to you. 
  2. if no pests are popping out of the box… remove each seedling and inspect them carefully. if you spot a pest of any kind, take pictures and contact us immediately for a full replacement.
  3. lastly if you notice aphids within 7 days of planting, take pictures and contact us for a full replacement.
  4. after our plants have been in your care for 7 days their continued health is in your hands 🙂

PEST PREVENTION FROM DAY 1:

BEFORE  YOU PLANT your seedlings, we recommend running each seedling under water like this:

    1. to prevent aphids from attacking your plants after planting, we recommend spraying a barrier oil such as Safer Neem Oil or Safer 3-in-1.
      1. you can add couple drops of peppermint oil to make it smell nice but we haven’t noticed it changes the effectiveness.
      2. products with potassium salts like Bonide Insecticidal Soap are also effective. 
    2. saturate all the leaves especially underneath. it doesn’t help to lightly spray the top. it’s best to remove the plant (this is easier with Growing Clips vs Net Pots) to spray them underneath. 
    3. inspect your seedlings/plants EVERY day especially underneath where they like to eat the tenderest part of the leaves.
    4. spray a protective barrier once a week or more if your Tower Garden is in a public place.
    5. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE LIGHT AIR MOVEMENT AROUND YOUR TOWER GARDEN. a ceiling fan is good or oscillating fan. it doesn’t have to be directly on the tower but keeps are moving around the tower. 

PEST TREATMENTS:

regardless of your best efforts (or lack thereof) and you have an aphid infestation, DON’T PANIC. it happens especially in public places. 

1st – what went wrong? read Prevention steps above. were you diligent to inspect? did you practice good pest prevention? where is your tower located? was the tower unattended for a few days? 

2nd – make a plan and work the plan: 

  1. if the plants are mature enough, harvest, wash and eat. they are safe and it’s easier to replant with clean seedlings than treat large plants.
  2. if the plants are young, remove the seedling to easily inspect and treat the plant. this is easier with Growing Clips vs Net Pots. 
  3. spray with a product like this Safer concentrate or PyGanic with pyrethrin (the big gun) to kill pests on contact. these are available in Ready-to-Use sprays. concentrates are usually cheaper but must be mixed according to directions.
  4. wash the plant (see above) to remove dead bugs and clean the plant. if your Tower Garden is outside you can spray your plants with the garden hose.
  5. you can repeat these steps a couple days in a row but don’t over do it.
  6. after a couple of days return to the prevention steps above.

that seems like a lot of information but it’s basically – inspect, inspect, inspect, wash, spray, wash, spray – and of course enjoy and EAT. 

#HugYourTower #Preventionisthebestmedicine #AphidsSuck 

*this post contains affiliate links so we may be paid a small percentage of your purchase. using this link does not change the price you pay but helps us the tiniest bit 🙂

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