It occurred to me not long after I had clicked on the ‘publish’ button that there was something that I had forgotten to share in my earlier entry. Something that I was very concerned about when I left my balcony garden in the good hands of the hubby (aka the ‘water guy’) … who had kept reminding me that he could only help to water my plants but would not be able to do my battle for me! He was, of course, referring to my battle with the pesky insects … and in particular the annoying aphids … urghh!!
I used to spend hours every week … if not nearly every day … working on ridding the aphids with my bare hands … from the pepper plants, the eggplants, the bok choy, the mustard greens, the strawberries, the salad greens, the cucumbers (yes, even the cucumber plants were not spared!), the chard, the carrots, etc, etc. I did spray some organic insecticides (but not much as I would like my edible garden to be free of such store-bought chemicals as much as possible, even if they are organic ones) … but resilient creatures that they are, the pesky aphids would always come back in droves as soon as I had stopped keeping an eye on them.
So it was with a heavy heart that I left the care of my balcony garden to the hubby when I went to Singapore in early August … thinking that not only would there be the possibility of me losing some plants owing to lack of watering on the hubby’s part … but that I might even lose a few to possible bad aphids infestation … which was what had happened to my broad bean plants when the hubby and I went to Singapore in July last year. In fact, just a few weeks earlier the eggplants were badly infested with aphids as I was not keeping a careful check on the plants (since I had naively assumed that they were safe from aphids attack). I later had to spray some organic insecticide as well as I had to work on removing the aphids by hands for several days in order to keep the aphids population on the eggplants under control.
However, curiously or amazingly … the hubby seemed to have managed to scare the aphids off when the garden was under his charge! Okay, I did spray some organic insecticide before I left as a precautionary measure … but I did not manage to spray on all the problematic plants. Yet … except for a few aphids that I saw on one or two plants, the rest of my plants seemed to have been rid of these pesky insects upon my return! Unbelievable! 🙂
I checked … but could hardly find any aphids on these beetroot and carrot seedlings …
… or on this pot of ulam raja (cosmos caudatus) … even though there were some aphids before I left. I was just so amazed and very pleased when I realised that these plants were aphids-free … for now! 🙂
And these bok choys … which is one of the favourite hunting grounds of the aphids … might have turned a little yellowish upon my return … but they seemed to be in the clear, too!
In fact, not only were there hardly any aphids that I could find hiding among the young leaves of the bok choy … these leafy greens also did not seem to have suffered too badly while I was away. They have grown bigger and so, I have been slowly harvesting them for adding into noodle dishes.
And even while some of the plants on the garden shed here, such as the white alpine strawberry plants, marigolds, hot peppers and nasturtium might be turning brown (with the small pot of rocket or arugula totally beyond saving!) as a result of insufficient watering … but, at least, there is no longer any problem with aphids, unlike before!
Even these chards (which seem to be growing very slowly this year) appeared to be free of aphids.
Come to think of it, I have not come across any grasshoppers, either, since I returned one week ago … although I did spot that some of the bok choy leaves had been chewed at.
Hmm … I wonder what secret tricks did the hubby do to successfully chase these garden pests away? Or maybe … I just need to go away for a while and leave the garden to the hubby … and the annoying insects will go away, too! hehehe … 😉
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