Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Aphid control

As the year is beginning to warm up the conditions become ideal for insects to hatch out. The garden begins all fresh and green in the April showers but soon the plants are colonised by greenfly and aphid and these rapidly inhabit every leaf and stem.

Here is a close-up of the head of an aphid:

Aphid - close-up of the head and eye  Aphid – close-up of the head and eye

This little creature was one of two walking across one of my rose leaves. To the naked eye they just looked like two tiny specks of dust but zooming in revealed that they were about to colonise my rambling rose.

There are ways of keeping aphids, greenfly and black spot under control. In the countryside where I grew up it was always commonplace to use garlic. Just as garlic cloves purify the blood of human beings they also purify the sap of woody shrubs and trees. All you need to do is to plant one or two garlic cloves at the base of the plant as near to the main stem as possible and allow the garlic to do its work. The garlic forms tiny little bulbs that spread all around the base of the bush or tree. When the plant drinks up water from the earth it takes in the garlic too which spreads throughout the plant and protects it from garden invaders. It is the most wholesome way of protecting the shrubs and plants in the garden and is much kinder than spraying with insecticide and fungicide.

There is an added benefit to using this method of control as a lovely crop of garlic grass is produced at the base of all of the plants. This may be cut off and added into salads, stir-fries, soups, etc. It is slightly more mild than using the clove itself but is lovely, rich greenery that makes an attractive addition to any dish.

Garlic planted at the base of a rose bushGarlic grass at the base of a thirty-year old rose bush


josie said...

hi, aphids is our long-time problem in the garden, hubby did everything to control it but none was successful so far, I showed him this post and will try this procedure too. hope it will be successful this time. :) thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering what the garlic smelling grass at the base of our rose bushes was - googled and found your page - what a great idea! - Would this also work for other pests? We have pear trees in the front garden that suffer from a black spot - they get this from overhanging trees which belong to the council, not us, and each time I trim them back and treat them to get new clean growth, they get re-infected. frustrating, will try planting garlic a their bases and see if that helps them fight it off.