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January Aphids?!

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Well, this IS a first. I was watering my veggies this evening, (which is crazy because it is January!) and I noticed what looked like a lot of ash falling on the soil around the Dino Kale. I bent down to take a closer look and to my horror, a massive infestation of aphids! I truly hate aphids, if someone can can give me a good reason that God created these little suckers, I’d love to hear it… and for lawn grubs too- YUCK! I’m a pretty peaceful gardener, but aphids and grubs turn my spine to squeamish mush.

My usual aphid invasion happens in late spring, when they attack the roses, honeysuckle, celery and every other tender, sweet young growth. I can’t do much about them except spray with the hose and flick the masses of with my fingers. I haven’t met an organic solution yet that works, have you?

Ok, back to the kale. I tried spraying the leaves hard, but finally realized the infestation was too great. I had to pull two plants so that they wouldn’t spread to the other four. I washed the remaining plants thoroughly and picked the leaves that I couldn’t get clean. It was a bummer, but I hope I contained the problem. The chickens were more than thrilled to receive a bucket-load of fresh greens with tiny bugs. On a plus, I’m sure their eggs will be nice and extra omega-rich.

The broccoli looks fantastic, though, minor aphids and lots of growth. I cut the large heads around Christmas and we’ve been eating off the side shoots all month!
My local nursery, Star Gardens, is open again after their winter break, so I’m going down this week to stock up on more winter veggie starts. I am definitely going to need more kale, and see what other goodies they have!

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