Reader Request: Aphids! and Container Fruits

I’m putting a request out to my readers to respond with your advice. After a  relatively pest-free summer I now have aphids on my late season bok choy. I think the tender leaves are a lost cause but now I have a few questions:

What’s your preferred way of eliminating outdoor aphids? When I have aphids on my houseplants I use an effective spray made out of crushed garlic and hot chili peppers steeped into a tea.

Outdoors I don’t mind pulling up infested plants, but that what about the soil? Does aphid larvae overwinter? Do you reuse potting mix next year if you had any sort of infestation the previous year?

I’m still pulling in some beautiful tomatoes, mostly Stupice and Opalka. The Kellogg’s Breakfast didn’t do much this year. Has anybody else had success with them? Shishito peppers are doing beautifully and one of my Ozark strawberries put out the biggest fruits I saw all year. Chinese/Japanese ggplants are as hardy as weeds and I’m constantly bringing them in, almost daily. Cukes and squashes fizzled out. I’m tempted to do a lot more fruit next year: blueberries and strawberries. Any suggestions for other Midwest hardy container fruit?

2 responses to “Reader Request: Aphids! and Container Fruits

  1. I just wash aphids away with water. They’re always on a different plant in a different container each year, so I don’t think they can overwinter in container soil on a roof. Maybe it stays too cold for too long for them to survive winter.

  2. Thanks- I’ll just keep the soil as-is for now and see what happens next year. And commit to washing away any aphids before their population explodes.

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