I was inspecting one of my planters with a few Nero Tondo radishes (the black spanish kind, big bulbs and taller foliage but not as tall as daikon) which were looking particularly wimpier than usual and discovered clumps of aphids underneath some of the leaves. Not a huge infestation, but something to be concerned about. I squashed all the bugs I could find, but don't feel totally secure about it.
Any good natural pest deterrants for aphids? I know that garlic, pepper, and onions can be combined to make a potent pest deterrant, I know that Neem oil is really good, and one time I heard that aloe vera juices can be used for similar purposes if you water it down. Aloe would be the most convienient choice for me because I have about 50000 plants growing in my yard that seem to duplicate by the millions every year. I just don't know though, the internet doesn't seem to always yield consistent advice. Hope somebody out there can conjure up the catalyst to a solution.
I thought I had done that prior to writing this post but I guess it didn't work. I don't really understand how it's done, Under "location" I typed in "central Florida" but it doesn't appear to be showing up under my name
To put your location just below your name (as mine is) follow these steps:
Click on the Profile button in the upper right-hand section of this page. If you want these instructions to remain while you do this then right-mouse click and select open in a new tab/window so you can read and do at the same time.
Form your profile page - on the left-hand side, under Modify Profile, click on Forum Profile Information. In the first text-field box at the top (Personal Text:) enter your town and/or state. Scroll to the bottom and click Change Profile.
For me any changes to my profile send me to a black web page, this is a problem in the software, however the changes will still take affect. Just close that window and go back to this one and continue around the forum. You should see your change appear with the next page you load.
For organic practices, you come up with ways to do things that get rid of existing methods. Or you think "normally, I would spray toxic gick on the plant to get rid of aphids - so what could I spray that would be non toxic?"
If you ask the same question in the permaculture forum then the answer is "what am I doing wrong so that this plant has aphids?" And the solutions are usually that your polyculture is not diverse enough.
Ah! fabulous point. I am doing mainly container planting currently (the majority of them being long rectangular planters) and didn't really get into polyculture until recently. However, one thing that confuses me is the issue of crop rotation with polyculture. I pulled up this very lengthy companion planting list online and some companions for veggies such as radishes and turnips( my vegetables that have aphids currently) include things such as beans, or cucumbers; things that seem to occupy a different part of the rotation.
Now, if I were to plant a container in the pattern of radish/pea/carrots/lettuce/radish/pea/carrots/lettuce(not that I've done this or found it to be advantageous). Would that mean next year I would do something in the same pattern but with the vegetables that fit into the rotation? I suppose now that I'm saying it it makes sense but confirmation with more experienced folk always helps..I guess it just depends as well
I think crop rotation is not something that fits in with permaculture/polyculture.
Let's suppose you do a monocrop of carrots. Then all the bad guys that loooooove carrots have built up in the soil. Plus the soil has been depleted of stuff that carrots really love. So if you grow carrots in the same spot next year, they'll suck.
In a polyculture, the carrot grew by itself next to 40 other things. The next carrot was several feet away. Because there was only one carrot, there was no build up of bad guys and the soil did not get depleted in stuff the carrot really loved. You can plant another carrot in the exact same spot (although that would be weird) the next year and it would be fine. But odds are that it will be a bit random and you won't have a carrot in the same spot.
Container planting is tough. It is really hard to do companion stuff in a container, let alone a rich polyculture.
Another important thing about a polyculture, is that there will always be some species at, or near, the prime of life.
And there will always be a few leaves that tempt aphids, so that there will always be enough aphids to feed a few laydybird beetle larvae.
With a balanced, relatively steady-state food supply, the predator-prey relationship can maintain a much better balance. And the aphids never over-harvest.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Common Weeds And Wild Edibles Of The World (HD video)