Friday, April 24, 2009


This was one of my my Brussels Sprout plants which I had planted towards the back of one of my beds.
I had noticed it looking wilted, which after 50 mls of rain was not possible, but didn't have a close look at the time and I had hoped it would sort itself out.

Anyhow a few days later it was getting worse so I thought I'd better take a closer look and gasp, shock, horror, it was covered in aphids.

Now I had two choices (maybe more but these were immediate), I could walk down to the shed and find something to spray them with (of which I didn't have anything) or pull the poor thing out and throw it over the fence into the chook pen (hoping the chooks would devour the aphids) which is about two mts away.

So being the enthusiastic walker I am option two won out and over the fence it went.

Again, gasp, shock, horror, and to my disappointment my chooks took no more than a cursory look at the aphids ( I kept telling them its protein it's good for you) before going about their business (me phinks me feeds 'em too well).

I usually let nature do its own thing around here but if the other four Brussels sprouts I have planted become infected I'll be doing a whip around the garden and harvesting as many lady beatles as I can find and put them on the remaining Brussels sprouts to control the aphids.


tina said...

I would've done the same thing but me thinks you feed the critters too well too! Gotta starve them a bit more so they eat the good ole protein:)

Stewart said...

I think your right tina

Dennis said...

IDK Stew....I woulda hit them with some soap works really well.

greenfumb said...

You could just blast them with the hose if you don't want to use anything else but soap spray is good too.

The Old Dairy said...

Had the same on my cabbages, I pulled them all out and will try agin....If it happens again I'll look into the soap spray...

Anonymous said...

Stewart these aphids have destroyed our brassica crops in the past too.
They get into the heads of the brocoli and are very hard to get rid off.

This year I am thinking of trying an exclusion bag or a soap spray.

Rolley said...

Yeah, lots of good tips there, I've heard the soap sprays work well, and I personally have awesome success with exclusion bags (not for aphids though).

Yet another option.. ya could try spraying with Neem Oil every week or so.. Last season mealy bugs wreaked havoc on my Arabica trees, ruining tons of cherries.. I've had 99% success this season keeping mealy bugs away and I'm sure it must be the Neem Oil because I haven't used any other control methods :-)

Had a gawk at Eco Organic Garden? They sell the Neem Oil I use!


Stewart said...

Thanks everyone for the tip on soap spray.
When I wrote this post it was more of a throw away story than anything else, so I've found it surprising that it is such a widespread problem.

Also can anyone give me a recipe and what kind of soap to use?

Hi Rolley, thanks for your comment and the tip. I'll definitely look into it.

ALdrum said...

Howdy, Great Blog. I get 'em mostly on my Black Kale and Brocc. You can just use a drizzle of dish detergent and a tablespoon of veg oil in about a litre of water and shake. A (slightly) more detailed recipe is at
Cheers, AL

Stewart said...

Hi Aldrum, thanks for the info, I've noticed a few aphids on my other Brussels sprouts so I'll be needing it.
I just visited your blog and have added it to my blog roll so I can keep an eye on it. It looks very interesting too.