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Angst with aphids

MY Brussels sprouts are full of aphids. Can you help?


THERE are many products you could use to control aphids on Brussels sprouts, but as aphids can get right in among the curled-up leaves, you'd just end up with dead aphids in the sprouts when you come to eat them and there's also the risk of spray residue from some products remaining in and on the plant for some time.

Aphids don't like cold weather, yet Brussels sprouts actually grow best in cool conditions, so if you try to have your sprouts growing mostly over the cool autumn and winter months, you should avoid some risk of aphid problems.

However, as sprouts can take up to five months from sowing to harvesting, there is the chance of aphid attack during a warm autumn.

In this case, I'd use a contact pesticide like Derris Dust, Mavrik or Garlic & Pyrethrum as soon as the first few aphids appear. Don't wait until the sprouts themselves are full of bugs. However, even if there are a few aphids in the sprouts, you should be able to rinse most of them out and the others won't do you any harm once they're cooked!

Weekend Gardener, Issue 177, 2005, Page 30

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005