Organic control of aphids

Q: I have planted my seedlings in my barn under grow lights this year, a totally separate building away from the whiteflies that were in my garden two years ago. I went to check them yesterday and all are covered in whiteflies. I thought whiteflies died with the cold

A: You have aphids, not whiteflies. Take some to the Barrow county Extension office for a definite identification.

There are several ways to control aphids without using synthetic chemical sprays. First, use a strong spray of water under the leaves to wash them away. Aphids have a hard time getting back onto their host plant and many will die when exposed.

Second, use either neem oil (click for examples) or a brand name insecticidal soap spray (click for examples) to kill them. Again, it’s important to spray under the leaves where the aphids live.

Third, when you plant your vegetable seedlings outdoors, surround them with plants that host aphid predators. This includes yarrow, buckwheat, white clover, tansy, sweet fennel, sweet alyssum, spearmint, crimson clover, cowpeas, and caraway.

Your garden will be both productive and attractive!