Aphids suck – literally. These pesky garden pests will poke their mouths into your beloved plants and suck out their liquid. It weakens the plant and reduces your harvest – not to mention the unsightly appearance a massive, black mound of aphids can be on your plants. What can be done on the organic homestead to remedy the problem?

Aphid larvae on currant leaves

The answer: lots! To prevent aphids from taking hold to begin with, place aphid-repelling plants throughout the garden like garlic, onions, chives, and radishes. You can also plant aphid attracting plants, like nastursium, to draw the aphids toward one area and away from your beloved vegetables.

Aphids massing under an artichoke leaf

When aphids show up, there a number of strategies for getting rid of them:

  • Apply tomato leaf or garlic spray (check out this link for recipes)
  • Spray with diluted dish soap (1 tsp. per pint of water) – this dries out their soft-bodies
  • Spray off with a strong hose

Spraying aphids with diluted dish soap. This dries out the soft-bodies insects, killing them.

Another strategy is to attract beneficial insects to the garden to feast on these pests. Ladybugs and lacewings love to eat aphids. Here are some flowering plants that will bring the good guys into the garden and keep the bad guys out:

  • Bugleweed
  • Coriander
  • Cosmos
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Yarrow

Unfortunately I didn’t get a handle on our aphid problem until too late. The plants most effected this year are our artichokes and currants. We’re always going to be fighting one thing or another in the garden, so I guess this is the battle this year.

Aphids hiding in the folds of an artichoke head

What are you struggling to keep on top of in the garden? What tried and true solutions have worked to keep aphids under control on your homestead? Share in the comments below!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson