Aphids have taken residence in the Secret Garden at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Luckily, we have been staving off major losses by using a special organic spray. The spray we use is very effective and simple to make. We take about a handful of tomato plant leaves and place them in a container filled with water and let that steep for twenty four hours inside the Gardens’ main building. The next day we removed the leaves from the container and funneled the liquid into a spray bottle. We used a spray bottle that had been designated as the organic methods bottle so we were sure it did not have any pesticide or other questionable chemical residues. We then went out to the garden with the bottle and sprayed the leaves of the afflicted plants which in this case are the nasturtiums in the square foot bed. I am confident the aphids will no longer pose problems because we have used this spray before on one of our quinoa plants and it has made a complete recovery with no aphids in sight.
There are other home remedies for pests on plants. Here is a link to one of the pages we found that has different spray recipes and other techniques for eliminating pesky insects.
We made sure to spray both the tops and undersides of the leaves to make all the leaf parts undesirable for the aphids.
The tomato spray had a strong offensive odor, but I took great joy in applying it knowing that I was not using synthetic pesticides. I felt free to spray as much as I wanted without fear of poisoning myself or the garden.