Sunday, May 30, 2010

Aphids On My Eggplant

I potted a pair of bambino eggplants last week and already there are aphids sucking on them. These were plants I started indoors back in April or maybe even late March and never saw an aphid during their time indoors. I used new potting soil in the container they went into. I can't recall using that container last year but I'm sure at one time something in that container had aphids but I don't recall what it was or when.

It wasn't a complete infestation of aphids though. Just a few that were easily eradicated. I found them when I noticed a few spots of honeydew on the lower leaves - a dead give away that there are aphids feeding on the upper leaves. The plants are looking healthy so if I can keep them that way and get rid of any aphids I see whenever I see them, everything should be fine. Of course, I say that now. I might not be as attentive come late July.

I've also discovered spider mites on a small container of Golden Hops that I picked up at a nursery last weekend. I bought it on a whim, picturing a container with huge hops vines stretching up over a trellis. The plant sat for a while before I finally had a really good look at it. A couple of the lower leaves were dried up and curled and I could see the fine webs that the mites leave on the undersides of the leaves.

Spider mites are incredibly small but if you stare at a leaf that has them long enough you'll notice them moving around. They are also an absolute pain to get rid of for balcony gardeners. So I have to decide what to do with this little plant. Hop vines can reach lengths of 20 feet so you can imagine the trouble I'll have if this plant were allowed to grow up and became infested. The mites would quickly spread to my other plants. Not good.

I'm still in the process of potting my started plants. It's a never ending process. Was looking at some Klari "Baby Cheese" Pepper plants I have yet to pot and noticed the lower leaves are yellowing and falling off. I should have re-potted these a long time ago. I have been applying a mild dilution of fertilizer but it's just not enough. Time for a more permanent home.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I really enjoy your website. I too have started a garden this year out on my 5x10 deck, its not too big so I had to restrict most of my growing to 5 gallon buckets. I feel your pain with the spider mites, they have been at war with me since early spring here in NY. Anyways, hope you have a great growing season and take care!


Alex N said...

I saw you were trying out the Brandywine tomatoes again this year- what made you change your mind from the last time?

I'm a Balcony Gardener too, this is my first year. I saw your site when I did a Google search for "growing watermelons in containers." Love reading about your adventures and have picked up some helpful tips, thank you!