Attack of the Aphids

A lot of our garden experiments are in a waiting phase right now. The moringa is almost ready to start clipping from, which will be a great reintroduction to our lives since at our old house we had four huge plants in our tiny 20sq’ yard that we could eat off of daily. Most mornings we had fried eggs and moringa – fresh from the backyard. Right now we have a few herbs like mint, thai and sweet basil, and fennel that are going strong and we need to get in a better habit of using. But the pumpkin and cucumber are still slowly sprawling out, the cherry tomatoes aren’t quite blooming yet, and the leafy greens have gone to seed. A lot of these things we planted early just to see what would take during the monsoon and I think their progress is slow and steady because they rarely have a chance to dry out and breathe a little. But even in the past two nights, we’ve noticed a temperature drop in anticipation of cool season – a great growing time in Thailand.

But the yard long beans have been abundant for the last month. Non-stop green beans. Yesterday morning I went out to pick more and noticed a strange clumpy dirt gathered on a lot of them. Upon a closer look, I realized the dirt was moving – tiny little black bugs clustered together up and down our beautiful yard long beans. I stopped picking beans and started googling.

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Here are my troubleshooting steps as a newbie gardener:

  1. Take pictures to ID the bugs
  2. Google, “what are these little black bugs on my green beans”
  3. Compare my photos to google images and determine immediately that it’s aphids
  4. Google, “how to get rid of aphids”
  5. Ask the neighbours if they have a spray bottle
  6. Buy a spray bottle on my way to the grocery store
  7. Document the issue on instagram
  8. Get a great email from Reb with the solution to our problem!
  9. Google, “Cornell Spray for aphids recipe”
  10. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda, rice bran oil and Dr Bronner’s castile soap together in one gallon of water
  11. Spray on the beans and leaves in the early morning when it’s still cool out
  12. Wait and see!

On a side note, I planted a new round of tomato, soybean, lettuce, spinach, and dill seeds in the starter trays. We’ll see what comes up!


Then this morning I went out and checked on the beans and…. drumroll please…. it worked! The spray seems to have really done the trick with most of the aphids gone or shrivelled up. I did one final spray just to make sure but I think the final crop of beans for this season will have a chance to finish strong now. It’s a simple problem with a simple solution but it feels great to have actually learned something new today.

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