After a few weeks of spraying my aphid-covered peppers in the greenhouse with high pressure water, then two different organic horticultural oil/soap/funky stuff concoctions, they were only worse off. While the application did kill the present aphids, it seems their friends and relatives only doubled the effort immediately thereafter--sending my healthiest plant into a total tailspin and complete death. Plus, the 2nd item I used was very harsh and burned some leaves on other plants.
I threw up my hands in defeat. No peppers this year. Which was odd, as I've NEVER had an aphid problem. It didn't dawn on me that I've also never left peppers in a greenhouse before. I figured, in our little 6' x 8' greenhouse, that leaving the door and vents open would equate to the great outdoors.
At the Salem Saturday Market yesterday, I returned to the booth of the women that sold me my gorgeous chocolate cherry tomato plant. She had beautiful pepper plants, already fruiting, for only $4.00. I told her of my plight and she looked at me like I was an idiot. "Just set them outside," she said, for the air was full of aphid predators right now: lady bugs, lace wings, dragonflies...
Really? That's it?
It seems that these nature's little helpers just won't fly into the greenhouse.
* Amy smacks palm to forehead. *
I revel in the photo of the ladybug eating an aphid. It's borrowed from a great article on greenhouse aphid problems on sweet peppers. While I admit I don't miss much about the midwest, the ease of growing some of my favorite garden items like tomatoes and peppers is greatly missed. The longer growing season, higher humidity, heat, and sandy soil made for trouble-free growing with great yields. Not so here. Yet. But we'll figure the particulars out.