Category Archives: help blog

‘I have been germinating my seeds indoors. The plants are well established, however I’ve just noticed one of the tomatoes looked sick…’

Full question:
‘I have been germinating my seeds indoors. The plants are well established, however I’ve just noticed one of the tomatoes looked sick. The leaves have bubbling and there are minute white insects (I assume) on top – not a lot. Checking the other plants several are affected, included my capsicums. Please help!!’

Our response:
From the description of the leaves bubbling, it sounds like aphids sucking the goodness out of the seedlings. Aphids are attracted to plants that are stressed, even if just a little bit. Lots of air movement keeps them at bay and if the seedlings are inside with not much air movement, that will possibly be why they’ve been able to get established. If you make up a solution of water with a good squirt of dishwashing liquid (has to be an Ecostore-type, friendly to nature) and shower your seedlings with this, it will cause the aphids to stick to the seedlings and asphyxiate them. If you have neem oil on hand, that will do an even better job, but there’s no point in buying it especially. We’re fairly confident you should be able to get rid of them. All the best!

‘I have a TERRIBLE infestation of aphids all over my pumpkins, courgettes, and cucumbers.’

Full question:
I have a TERRIBLE infestation of aphids all over my pumpkins, courgettes, and cucumbers. I have had to pull out the pumpkins because it was like a carpet all over the back of the leaves. I have sprayed with the soapy water several times. Is there anything that can be done or should I just pull all the plants out?

Our response:
Spraying with neem oil will do the job. Spray all over your plants, lifting up the undersides of the leaves – 3 times, 3 days apart each time, in the evening.
No need to pull your crop out. This should do it.
Have you got any flowers nearby? Flowering plants attract the beneficial predators which will deal to the aphids, so always a good idea to have either a bed of flowers (which we call an insectary) near your veges or flowers planted in and around the veges.
All the best!

‘What can I do to prevent guava moth attacking our feijoa tree this year?’

This is a tricky one. We understand there isn’t a specific solution yet for the guava moth.
What seems to work is having a lot of beneficial insects around the trees. Plant herbs and flowers that attract beneficial predators near the trees – things like borage, alyssum, hyssop, sage, lavender, and echinacea.
If you spot guava moth this season, you could try spraying a mix of neem oil and water all over your fruit trees including the fruit. It works best when sprayed on developing fruit.
And if you do get an infestation, then infected fruit should be removed. Don’t put them in your compost, as this will allow them to continue breeding on your property.
Finally, keep your trees in good health as healthy trees are usually less likely to be attacked.