As any avid gardeners will know, there are 1001 threats to every single plant, flower or vegetable planted every single ear, and the major threats vary from season to season. That is a fact of life because it is one of the laws of nature, but this information does not help if you are one of those individuals that do have problems with pests.
If you happen to grow tomatoes there is one threat that stands out above the rest. Tomato aphids represent one of the biggest insect dangers to an annual tomato crop for the majority of gardeners and farmers out there today and have done for some time now, but what are tomato aphids and what can they do?
The Tomato Aphid
The tomato aphid is a common pest that is otherwise known as the greenfly, although blackfly also comes under the same heading. As tomatoes are grown in hothouses, greenhouses and temperate climates, the climate and conditions are perfect for them to flourish, multiply and attack your tomato plants!
They tend to flock to tomato plants and settle on them, destroying them as they go by consuming the stalks and leaves, although they rarely touch the tomatoes themselves. The tomato aphid does represent a huge threat to tomato plants all over the world because of their extensive reproductive abilities. It only takes a few days for a few tomato aphids to turn into thousands. Unfortunately, this will ruin your tomatoes and so you need to take remedial action sooner rather than later.
The Possible Solutions
There are all sorts of things that you can use to prevent an onslaught of tomato aphids from ruining your crop; some of them are listed below:
1. Plant marigolds, calendula and morning glory in the same vicinity as your tomatoes. They will encourage various insects to inhabit the same area as your tomatoes. These insects, such as ladybirds and spiders, will then feed on the aphids without harming your tomatoes. Other similar plant will also work.
2. Although spraying your tomato aphids with water will just knock them off the tomato plants and may not be as effective as some sources suggest, adding a little washing up liquid to the water will have a great effect. The solution will not harm your tomato plants, but it will coat the aphids and suffocate them, thus eliminating your problem. Three times a week for tree or four weeks should do the trick and leave your greenhouse aphid free! The solution should be 95% water but this balance will still be strong enough to work effectively. This is far better than using chemicals because the chemical sprays are likely to harm the tomatoes and you as well as the aphids because the solution is retained in the flesh of the fruit. Avoid chemicals at all costs.
3. Rub the aphids off with your fingers after washing your hands and applying alt to your fingertips. The water will remove the tomato aphids from the plant but the salt will kill them so that they do not come back.
Experts my recommend different solutions and you should try as many as you can until you find one that works for you. However, always steer clear of chemical as far as possible because using chemicals can often be tantamount to ruining your plants yourself.