As promised, I am going to share with you the solution I have been using to finally get rid of the aphids that have invaded the balcony.
The solution my dears is… tataxan… potassium soap!
How did I get to this solution are you wondering? Well it was thanks to Picaronablog. It is a great blog, with tons of information on growing a kitchen garden in containers. So, thanks to her I have learned the benefits of this pesticide and hopefully I am in the way of getting rid of the damned aphids for good!
Picaronablog, however, is written in Spanish and Catalan, so for those of you who do not speak does languages I’ll brief you about potassium soap and how to use it.
Potassium soap is made out of vegetable oils. It can be made at home, recycling the used cooking oil. This time I have bought it, primarily because it was kind of an urgent matter so I didn’t have time to loose, but I like the idea so I am planning on trying it someday. (Remind me that in a year when I still haven’t done so.. 😉 )
The advantages of potassium soap, as a pesticide, is that it is ecological and it does not have any “safety time” before you can eat the crops. You just rinse the veggies with water and they are good to eat.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it kills (the insects) by contact, so it does not work as prevention for the aphids or have any lastly effect. Therefore, to successfully finish with the pest you have to spray everywhere there are aphids, for instance the back of each leave and also repeat the application during some days.
I have no idea of how often one has to do it, but since I was so pissed off with the invasion I sprayed the affected plants every evening for the first tree or four days. I have done it in the evenings because apparently some people say that if you spray it under the sunlight, the leaves might get burned.
To prepare the soap solution it is very simple.
Heat some water (a glass a cup or a small boiling pot) and dilute a spoonful of the soap.
Then just pour it into a spaying bottle and add cold water to fill it. The recommended proportion, according to Picaronablog, is one tablespoon of soap in a litre of water.
I have been spraying the plants with this solution for a week now, and although I still find some aphids, the population has decreased dramatically! As I said, for the first three or four days I did it every evening and spraying almost every leaf of the affected plants, but since then I have been doing it on a day in, day out basis and only in places where I see aphids.
So that’s it.. I hope this can be useful if you ever find yourself with the same problem as me… Have a nice (and aphid free) Monday you all! 😉
Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell