Greenflies (known as aphids) are a common pest in the garden this time of year. They are tiny bugs that gather in large numbers on plants. In early spring, the eggs hatch out, and the young greenfly quickly gets busy eating the sap from the tender new growth. If left to their own devices, they can weaken plants and distort their appearance.
Ideally, if we attract beneficial insects eg ladybirds into the garden by growing lots of different plants, nature will keep the numbers down. And that’s what biodiversity is all about. If you can’t wait that long, a simple cure is at hand. Garlic is part of the onion family and as well as being a firm favorite in the kitchen, it is an excellent first aider in the garden. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and a great deterrent for annoying insects. So gather your materials above. The ratio is 2 cloves of garlic to a pint or litre of water. It’s not an exact science so more or less is ok. Boil the kettle. Put 2 crushed or chopped cloves of garlic into a pint/litre glass and top with boiling water. (Ask an adult for help with this). Leave to cool. Strain the cooled garlic water into a jug. Pour into a sprayer and add a few squirts of washing up liquid. (The washing up liquid helps it to stick to the leaves, otherwise it washes off). Spray onto affected plants in the cool of the evening so as not to scorch the plants. The garlic will kill the aphids and act as a deterrent. Generally spraying once a fortnight is enough unless there is a huge infestation. Then spray more frequently. A word of caution about this spray. Garlic is a non-selective insecticide, which means it kills good guys (predators) as well as the bad guys (pests). So make sure, there are no ladybirds on the plants when you’re spraying.