Hi!!! I love your blog, it’s one of my favorites about plants. I was just wondering if you had any advice on how to get rid of aphids without pesticides or other toxic/harmful things. I’ve tried lady bugs, but I guess there’s not enough aphids to keep them around. Any other suggestions?

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I'm glad you were able to identify the problem as aphids! Sometimes they're the same color as the leaf and extremely hard to see. Lucky for you, they're soft-bodied and pretty easy to kill.

The method I've heard of the most (from my professor, farmers almanacs, and gardening websites) is to use soap. The advice varies on strength of solution, and I haven't tried it myself, so use your best judgement. Mix 1-5 teaspoons of dish soap in a quart of water and spray on the plant. You can do a test spray on one or two leaves and wait 24 hours to make sure your plant can handle it. Keep the plant watered properly to avoid extra stress during this time. It will also help to flush out the salts from the soap if its roots absorb any. Also, don't spray in the middle of the day if your plants have access to direct sunlight, as the soap + the sun could dry out its dermal layer. Make sure you get the underside of the leaves, where the aphids like to hang out the most.

You won't use the solution all at once. You need to keep spraying the plant 2 to 3 times a week for a few weeks. I want you to use it all up throughout the next few weeks and make sure you investigate the hell out of your plants after. Get a magnifying glass and make sure you scour every leaf. Aphids can reproduce asexually and extremely quickly, so even one surviving can start the problem all over again.

If your affected plants are inside, one very thorough month should take care of the problem for good. However, if your affected plants are outside, you may just have to do this a few times a year.

I've also heard of mixing cayenne pepper in the dish soap solution. 1-5 teaspoons of dish soap, 1 quart of water, a pinch of cayenne pepper. Aphids hate it.

I wish you the best of luck! I'm glad you enjoy my blog too 😊💚

All Our Yesterdays: Day 172

11.01.20. The Guardian:

“Anti-terror police target school climate strikers.”

This headline referred to Britain’s counter terrorism police placing the non- violent group Extinction Rebellion on their list of ideological extremists. This effectively made anyone who supported this movement, including school children, terrorists and enemies of the State. Teachers were asked to look out for climate activists among their pupils and to submit their names to the appropriate authorities. The Home Secretary Priti Patel, later labelled Extinction Rebellion protesters as "criminals" and their behaviour as “an attack on democracy."

This does not mean the Tory Party is unconcerned about environmental issues – far from it. Boris Johnson has promised us a “green revolution,” and given assurances that  environmental standards are safe in his hands.

If only that were true!

Undercover of the Covid-109 pandemic, Johnson has given the go ahead for farmers to use toxic chemicals to protect the sugar crop.

 10.01.21. The Independent:

           “Government to let farmers use bee-killing pesticide banned in EU”

No wonder Priti Patel wanted to outlaw environmental protesters. It is not good for the Tory public image to have the truth told about them. Letting producers use neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, a banned and toxic pesticide that kills bees and other pollinators, in order to protect the production of sugar does not sit well with their claimed green credentials.

We know that many of us, encouraged by the food and drinks industry, consume too much sugar in our diets,. We also know that this in turn leads to diet related conditions such as obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, putting extreme pressure on the NHS.

So when Johnson talks of a “green revolution" what he means is a LOWERING of environmental standards in the pursuit of profit for Tory party donors and his rich friends in the corporate world.  Expect to see more of this as the months unfold – from a further lowering of environmental standards to an erosion of workers rights, food standards and an increase in prices.

We deserve better.