Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

It’s been a bit of an odd week around here. I’ve been trying to figure out a schedule for posting on the mighty Bitter Grounds… and like a noob, I spent so much time deciding on a schedule, I didn’t get around to publishing anything. Okay not one of my more stellar weeks. I’m doomed to remain mildly disorganised.

…. and ….. they’re back … aphids. ****ing aphids. They’ve taken up residence in one of the peppers. The others have remained untouched. I think they set up a fun fair on the leaves, complete with little Ferris wheels and bumper cars. They seem impervious to everything I’ve tried so I found a lady bug to put on the pepper, thinking I was tempting it with an aphid buffet. The ungrateful little sod wandered around the plant a few minutes and then buggered off. Guess my aphids weren’t good enough for him … her ..?? how do you sex a lady bug? I’ll have to plan my next moves carefully. I suspect the aphids have hazmat suits. That’s the only explanation for their stubborn resistance.

However, my other peppers are beginning to actually look like peppers:

Photo of pepper plants growing on my balcony

A wind storm blew off some of the markers so I haven’t a clue which pepper is which. It’ll be an adventure in the kitchen.

(more…)

The Aphid Wars: The Battle of Chili Pepper Pass has begun

Aphids to right of me,
Aphids to left of me,
Aphids in front of me
(with apologies to all Tennyson fans)

The little beggars have breached my defenses again. On routine patrol, checking the Morning Glory carefully and was lulled into a false victory. Only a few of the enemy aphids were hanging around, sluggish and easy to pick off. I flung their carcasses over the ramparts (balcony to civilians) and did my victory dance. I turned my attention to other potential weak spots in my defenses and felt satisfied all was good

But … then I spotted them  …

… aphids. APHIDS! On. My. Peppers.

The sneaky bastards skipped past the rose bush, and landed on the pepper plant with the chives moat. They must have tunneled underground, coming up under the chives. Tell-tale signs of their encroachment alerted me to the first wave’s advance. Sure enough, skulking under new leaves and on the budding peppers, they’d already laid in their defenses. Dozens of them were swarming for a full attack.

No time for a battle plan … I plunged headlong into the fight with my water bottle and blew them off. Each leaf was inspected carefully until the all clear was sounded. Tonight, when the sun goes down, I’ll return with a soap bath to get the rest.

The Battle of Chili Pepper Pass has begun.

Dispatches from the Aphid Front – balcony garden war continues

Although I thought the aphid invasion was stopped in it’s tracks, I continued doing daily patrols, checking each plant for signs of enemy activity. Nothing but dried up bug carcasses as far as the eye could see.  But tonight   … signs of a renewed aphid entrenchment in the morning glories. They must have snuck in while I was out at work.  The devious little peckerheads are skulking in the new growth and under the bodies of their mates.

If you don’t see any posts in the next 48 hours that means the aphids have gained the upper hand and have cornered me on the balcony. Send reinforcements.

… wish me luck.