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Old August 16, 2019   #1
jhouse
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Hi all,

Just noticed I have a good amount of aphids on at least one tomato plant. Oddly haven't seen any on my nearby jalapenos but will be looking more closely.

Since I've also had a little EB on the 2 grape (or currant?) tomato varieties plants I have (the one for sure has aphids) , and I really don't like the tomatoes, and they grow like crazy needing pruning, I'm considering pulling those 2 plants rather than get into a war, that's hoping the other 4 tomato plants don't have the aphids yet.

The one thing I'm considering is Dawn dish soap in water and spraying (don't really want to add oil and worry about burning them, but I could) -- how much chance do I have of totally eliminating the aphids within a few days or week? Is Neem or other oil necessary? Would I be better off just pulling these plants than launching an aphid battle for tomatoes I really don't care for?

Thanks for opinions!

Jan H.

Last edited by jhouse; August 16, 2019 at 02:54 PM.
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Old August 16, 2019   #2
bbjm
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I think I'd pull the plants if you don't care that much for the tomatoes. I grew two currant tomato plants one year and pulled them half way through the summer and they had no disease/pest issues that I recall. They grew out and over into my other plants, the taste was unremarkable, and fiddling with the tiny berries was a nightmare. Never again.

If you do fight the bugs, then I think your soap and water approach would work. I read on this forum to just spray aphids off with a hose. I did that the one year I had aphids and ants take over a tomato plant and it worked. Right now I have aphids on my okra. So far they have just swarmed on one okra pod at a time so I just cut off the pod and throw it over the fence.
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Old August 16, 2019   #3
Cole_Robbie
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Just the suds from the soapy water will kill them instantly. You could give the plants a suds massage, then wash them off afterward. Foam is easier to get under leaves than spray.
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Old August 16, 2019   #4
jtjmartin
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Aphids are pretty easy to manage. If nothing else, do what Cole Robbie said as training for when aphids get on the plants you like!
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Old August 16, 2019   #5
Nematode
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Next year plant an insectary.
Hoverflies will annihilate aphids unless there is too much N.
Haven't sprayed for aphids in a couple years.
N
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Old August 17, 2019   #6
jhouse
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Thanks all good information! I will for sure plant that insectary! Meant to plant flowers for beneficials but didn't get around to it.
Ironically, there was a huge bug at the American Legion lodge where my band played tonight -- over an inch long, crazy looking thing. I let it crawl on a paper and took it outside -- took another look, it was a wheelbug! If I remember correctly they are a type of assassin bug and really good for gardens, I was tempted to take it home!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_bug
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Old August 17, 2019   #7
brownrexx
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I have been seeing lots of wheelbugs lately.

I garden organically and we do not treat our lawn so I see having things like lots of insect eating birds and insects like wrens and wheelbugs as a result of my efforts to keep a natural property.
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Old August 19, 2019   #8
jhouse
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I did wind up pulling the two tiny tomato varieties -- one wasn't really infested with aphids, the other did have some new foliage covered with them, hope it doesn't spread to the other plants.
I have a lot of EB pressure so I do spray chlorythalonil, so I have to rinse tomatoes to eat or give away -- BBJM, I totally agree the currant size is a hassle. If I didn't have to wash them maybe they'd be worth it, but between the astronomical growth (pruning) and washing the fruit, just can't do it.
I won't be growing that size again.
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