Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I hope you're not squeamish...

Earlier this year I managed to repel an early aphid invasion on my broad beans.

Since then my beans have been aphid - free and have been slightly smug. Why not, it's always good when you get one over a creature the size of grit.

I don't know if aphids have a season, or how they actually travel. Do they fly? How do they just appear and then multiply? And where does the first one come from?

Much is written about companion planting. My approach has tended to be read it, forget about it, read again, buy the seeds, forget about it, plant it in the wrong place. But this year, by happy accident rather than design, I planted borage in a container next to the broad beans. I have more to write about borage, but just to say that there has been a second wave of aphids this year and thankfully, they've decided to go for the borage rather than the beans.

And so have the feasting ants. Yum:


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

We struggled with aphids on our red-veined sorrel last year. Accidentally planted fennel next to the sorrel this spring, and the aphids love the fennel more than the sorrel! Much like they seem to prefer your borage. I love happy accidents in gardening like that. Glad your broad beans were spared the second round!

Paul and Melanie said...

I don't know much about borage but we put some next to a few tomato plants in our first year as it was supposed to improve the flavour. No idea if it worked really but it's proven impossible to get rid of the borage now, it just keeps coming back each year. Not that I mind really, it's quite pretty, but I've never actually 'done' anything with it... lol

Nome said...

I love borage! It seems to be good for pretty much every other plant in the garden, and the bees love it too. Mine have a nasty attack of leaf miners this year though and the leaves are all brown :(

Alternate generations of aphids have wings! A winged aphid will land on a plant and lay eggs which hatch into a wingless colony. The wingless ones will then produce winged colonies that fly away to prevent overcrowding and reproduce elsewhere! Clever and fascinating stuff! Doesn't help us gardeners out much though...

Daniela said...

Hi Paul and Melanie - out the Borage flowers in salad or Pimm's - delicious!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.