Tower Garden Pest Management

Tower Garden Pest Management

First let’s talk about Aphids. I really, really, really hate aphids. Who doesn’t? From our experience, here are some suggestions for managing aphids and all pests.   

Some important things to know BEFORE you start growing ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE GROWING 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 have a prevention and treatment plan in place as soon as you get started. Don’t wait until you have a problem b/c it can escalate quickly while you are making a plan.
  3. Yes, indoor gardens are susceptible to pests. Think about it… Indoor gardens do not have natural predators or wind and rain to protect our plants. Read this article for more info about growing inside.
  4. Aphids (and other insects) can come from open doors, pets, indoor plants and even your clothes.
  5. They are 90% a condition of the environment whether you grow your own seedlings or purchase from a seedling provider like us.  

It is SO important to have a pest prevention and treatment program in place. You need to be diligent. As Bret Bowlin says “Hug your tower every day”. EVERY. DAY.

Here are some resources from Tower Garden 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.

At ATL Urban Farms (as all certified seedling providers), we have year-round pest and disease protocols. 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 amazing Tower Garden family.

Still we can’t guarantee what happens between our house and yours and that our seedlings will arrive 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. Be sure to identify them before removing them from the tray so we can help you. If you spot an insect of any kind, take pictures and contact us immediately for a full replacement.
  3. If you notice aphids within 5 days of planting, take pictures and contact us for a full replacement.
  4. After our plants have been in your care for 5 days their continued health is in your hands 🙂

RECOMMENDED PEST PREVENTION:

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

Then:

    1. To prevent aphids from attacking your plants after planting, we recommend spraying a barrier oil such as Safer Neem Oil, Bonide Neem Oil Concentrate or Safer 3-in-1.
      1. Some suggest adding few drops of peppermint oil. It makes it smell nice but we haven’t noticed if it improves 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 to spray them underneath. It is easier with Growing Clips vs Net Pots). 
    3. Inspect your plants every day especially underneath where aphids like to eat the tenderest part of the leaves.
    4. Repeatedly wash and/or spray a protective barrier oil once a week and more often 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 air moving around the tower. 

RECOMMENDED PEST TREATMENT:

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

1st – Figure out what went wrong. Read the Prevention recommendations above. Were you diligent to inspect? Did you practice good pest prevention? Where is your tower located? Was the tower unattended for several 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 inspect and treat the plant. This is easier with Growing Clips vs Net Pots. 
    • Spray with a product like Safer Brand Insecticidal Soap & Pyrethrin Concentrate or PyGanic to kill pests on contact. These are available in Ready-to-Use sprays or concentrates. Concentrates can be cheaper but must be mixed carefully according to directions.
    • 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.
    • You can repeat these steps a couple days in a row but don’t over do it.
    • After a few days the infestation should be under control and you can return to the prevention steps above.

That seems like a lot of information but it’s basically – inspect, inspect, inspect, wash, spray, wash, spray – but most importantly 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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