Aphids are tiny (adults are under ¼-inch), and often nearly invisible to the naked eye. Various species can appear white, black, brown, gray, yellow, light green, or even pink! Some may have a waxy or woolly coating. They have pear-shaped bodies with long antennae; the nymphs look similar to adults. Most species have two short tubes (called cornicles) projecting from their hind end.
Nymphs and adults feed on plant juices, attacking leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit, and/or roots, depending on the species. Most aphids especially like succulent or new growth. Some, such as the green peach aphid, feed on a variety of plants, while others, such as the rosy apple aphid, focus on one or just a few plant hosts.
Look for misshapen, curling, stunted, or yellowing leaves. Be sure to check the undersides of leaves; aphids love to hide there.
If the leaves or stems are covered with a sticky substance, that is a sign that aphids may have been sipping sap. This “honeydew,” a sugary liquid produced by the insects as waste, can attract other insects, such as ants, which gather the substance for food. When aphids feed on trees, their honeydew can drop onto cars, outdoor furniture, driveways, and so on.
The honeydew can sometimes encourage a fungal growth called sooty mold, causing branches and leaves to appear black.
Flowers or fruit can become distorted or deformed due to feeding aphids.
Some aphid species cause galls to form on roots or leaves.
Aphids may transmit viruses between plants, and also attract other insects that prey on them, such as ladybugs. Source: almanac.com
Stop by either location and ask our gardening experts which insecticide would work best for your particular problem.
Keep watering your garden regularly since it hasn’t been raining as in previous years. Remember that a few deep waterings a week (1 hour minimum on a drip system or soaker hose) are much better for your plants than many brief, shallow waterings. Shallow waterings encourage your plants’ roots to stay near the soil surface, where they can be dried out easily by our intense sunlight.
And speaking of mulch, your spring-spread organic mulch has probably decomposed by now, so you may want to renew it with another couple of inches of bark, compost, or Payne’s Soil Conditioner.
It’s also time again to fertilize your spring-blooming perennials and flowering shrubs so that the energy they expended flowering can be replaced against the oncoming stresses of winter.
PAYNE’S RECOMMENDS: We recommend a slow-release fertilizer like Yum-Yum™ Mix and Gro-Power for our organic gardeners and we have many choices of fertilizers that are not organic as well – and they all work great! Stop by and check them out.
TJ and SCRUFFY’S TIP: Don’t forget that even when we do finally get the monsoon rains, don’t let it fool you, a “slow rain” like a drizzle is much better than a HEAVY rain because the soil absorbs the water better if it comes slowly!
We still have a good selection of annual color on our tables. We have plenty of Marigolds, Dianthus, Snapdragons and Zinnias. We also have some very nice Petunias, tall Cosmos, Evolvulus vine and even California Poppies. As a local nursery, we try to stay stocked through the summer.
ON THE FLIP-SIDE: The garden mums are rooting in nicely and we have planted our first crop of Poinsettias this week. How the time flies. This year, we will be growing 24 different varieties of poinsettias.
Last week the Garden Guru talked about tomatoes and how they really do love the heat! And sometimes in Santa Fe, when our night’s cool down so much — they actually slow the growth down of the tomato at night and then it has to restart again in the morning! Sometimes, this creates problems with tomatoes.
Lynn said that Payne’s customers bring in tomatoes and they have a bad spot on the bottom of them — now the bottom is the spot that’s directly opposite where the stem is attached to the tomato and they’re wondering what is this and what can they do about. It’s called “Blossom End Rot”… and the thing to do about it is … well, listen to Lynn’s tip and see how to deal with the “bottom end rot”!
Tune in every Friday on KHFM Radio (95.5 FM) between 4 and 5 pm you’ll hear Lynn Payne’s tip of the week. The “Garden Guru” himself provides information on different topics including gardening tips, fun facts about plants, how to plant and prepare your garden for each season and special announcements.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK! Marigolds from Payne’s. Available NOW!
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