Aphids and bug holes

Lin Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

Hi all:

I have two questions:

  1. Aphids - my kale is covered with aphids so I am going to pull it all out. There are TONS of aphids on the ground. I live in Colorado outside Denver, so a mile high, it snows, etc. Will the aphids on the ground die over winter when it snows or do I need to do something, if so what, so they don't get all over whatever I plant there in the spring?
  2. Bug holes - grasshoppers and whatever else like to eat my kale, chard, etc. Can I still eat it with the bug holes or is that not a good idea? I'm not keen on sharing my greens with a grasshopper, but I'd also like to eat some!

Thank you for input!


Best Answers

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    You will want to do something about the aphids. Unfortunately, the eggs can make it through the winter in your soil. I use crushed up egg shells or diatomaceous earth. I only had a problem with aphids once. They have not come back. I hope that helps.

    The leaves that have holes should be fine to eat. You don't see them in stores because we shop with our eyes but it really isn't a problem.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 332 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Lin, you might try intercropping your kale with celery and oregano to help with bugs. Then you won’t have to share (as much😉)

    i love kale - what kind do you grow?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin
    Answer ✓

    You could try a trap crop. My lovage plants make amazing traps for black aphids. The flower/seed heads attract them to the point that they make the heads completely black. Just clip the heads off and into the burning barrel with them.

    Nasturtiums are another good trap crop.

    I don't mind the holes in any of my leaves as long as the previous diner is no longer there. :) A quick soak/rinse in salt water will take care of those.

  • Lin
    Lin Posts: 10 ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Hi All,

    Thank you for answers. They are very helpful, especially the part about being ok to share the greens with the bugs as long as they are not still dining :)!

    I grow a mix of kale - it comes in the seed packet that way and it's fun because I get many different varieties.

    Thank you again for your help, now I know I need to do something since the aphid eggs will survive the winter.

    With much appreciation!


  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin
    edited November 2021 Answer ✓

    @Michelle D it is very interesting what you write about crushed egg shells against aphids eggs. How does it work? I always put egg shells into my compost and then they land in my high beds for plants. I also use shells from mussels. But I never though it helps against aphids.

    i have plenty of aphid traps in the garden and, as @torey suggests, just pick the black tops. I put them into some black plastic sacks and leave in the sun.

    @Lin I do eat all my vegetables with holes. The previous diners go onto a plate for birds.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Many master gardeners go outside in the morning and hose the aphids off the plants with a strong spray of water. They claim that is enough.

    I have one okra plant that is drawing aphids recently; I find myself crushing the bugs with my bare hands. I admit that I have not been fighting too hard because it is so late in the season.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    @jowitt.europe the crushed up egg shells work like a poor man's diatomaceous earth. The sharp edges cut the bugs. Shells that have been boiled work best. During the lockdown here I couldn't get ahold of diatomaceous earth for awhile and of course that would be the first time that aphids appeared in my garden. I used the eggs shells to get me through.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    You could also make a natural pesticide to kill the aphids. I personally use this garlic spray (it also works as an anti-fungal): https://www.epicgardening.com/how-to-make-garlic-spray/