I went outside today for my early morning peak at the progress of this year’s roses. The stems are stretching toward the Spring sun—I love their deep red color at this time of the year. It’s good to see what a little compost and organic fertilizer can do. Apparently, the clouds of aphids that are flying over also like that deep red color—it’s their trigger to land on our rosebuds and start messing things up. Thankfully, this is a manageable situation for us organic gardeners—if we persevere.
Here’s what I like to do:
About this time of year, I check the rosebuds for aphids. Yep they’re there. Next, I use a regular old spray bottle to physically wash the aphids off each bud. Do it early in the day. If that doesn’t do the trick—use the lightest setting on a garden hose nozzle to get rid of the stragglers. Once the aphids are washed off, they don’t crawl back up. The best part is the aphids you kill now will not breed later in the season. Birds, ladybugs, praying mantids and loads of other beneficial creatures also like to eat aphids—so, NO POISON PLEASE.
If you want this and other organic gardening tips, you can find them in the revised edition of my book Dead Snails Leave No Trails, just released yesterday! It’s a helpful guide for eco friendly gardeners. You can purchase the book along with my other titles on the Random House website: Click here.
Also, as your roses begin to bloom, post your pictures on my Facebook page. The prettiest rose of the bunch will win a signed copy of my new book!
I look forward to seeing all your Spring roses.