Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Aphid Invasion

Aphids are tiny pale green insects that suck the life out of plants. They tend to congregate on the undersides of leaves, especially on tender new shoots at the ends of branches. I'm not sure that an aphid invasion will completely kill a plant, but they can weaken and damage in the spring as the plant is producing new growth. Look for curled leaf edges and light veining on the surface of the leaves.

This spring the aphids are working their magic on my currants and gooseberries. They aren't terribly picky about their host plant, so keep a close eye on herbs, young trees and bushes, and other tender shoots. Since I have a particular love of currant jam, I'm willing to do battle with the little buggers. Treating aphids isn't difficult, but requires determination and perseverance. I'm spraying them with Safer Insecticide Soap, but dish soap works too. I spray by hand, carefully turning over leaves and spraying the underside of the leaf as well as its stem. Eventually, the heat of the summer will discourage this pest.

In spite of the aphids, my currant and gooseberry bushes are robust and setting fruit. I just finished my last jar of 2012 currant jam, so I'm looking forward to harvesting this year's crop in about five or six weeks---in spite of the little buggers.

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