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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aphid Attack!!! 


I am officially completely grossed out.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that I'm not a huge fan of "nature".

...and when I say "nature", I mean all the little bugs, spiders, and creepy crawly things that I associate with being outside amongst the pretty part of nature like trees, plants and flowers.

When Dick and I had our new backyard garden designed last year, we specifically requested that it be low maintenance. I figured, if we planned it out right, we could have a backyard that wouldn't require much more maintenance than regular weeding and simple pruning. After spending so much dough on our yard, I was determined to take care of the week-to-week needs, and only have our gardener come in for big jobs like pruning the trees, things associated with the drip irrigation system, or anything else that required actual knowledge of how things work out there. :)

So far, I've been doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself! :)
My parents came over early on and helped disperse 20+ bags of mulch, and also helped me transplant a couple of plants.

I'm usually out there about once a week, working on the day-to-day maintenance. This mostly involves weeding, which, if I do it once a week, is pretty easy to keep under control. I've also busted out my pruning shears from time-to-time to trim away old growth, and have even taken a stab at shaping a few plants.

it was all going so well....

...except for the aphids.

I noticed the aphids a few months ago, and bought some spray that I thought would help. Well, it turns out that I wasn't spraying often enough.

Yesterday, my contractor who built the garden came over to see how everything had grown since she saw it last. She immediately noticed the aphid infestation on the plants underneath one of the maple trees. I told her I had been spraying, but she told me that wasn't enough.

She suggested that I take a bucket of soapy water, arm myself with a pair of rubber gloves, and wipe each leaf individually with the soapy water. She said it would be much more effective than spraying alone, which makes sense.

My initial reaction: Ewwwwww!!!
I hate bugs! There's no way I'll do this.
Then I sent out an email to my gardener, asking her to come over sometime soon to tackle it.

...which should be the end of the story.

But, it's not.

This afternoon, out of the blue, I decided to put on my rubber gloves, and attach those aphids myself!

I filled a bucket with soapy water, and wiped those leaves, one by one, scraping off all of the aphids, and drowning them in my bucket of water. I emptied the bucket out 4 or 5 times. That's a lot of aphids.

It probably took me about 45 minutes to complete the task. All the while, I managed to stay composed and not get too grossed out, knowing that would get me nowhere. After I rinsed out my bucket for the final time, I went back to the plants and sprayed them with the solution to try to keep them away. I now know that I should spray at least once a week - much more than I had been.

After I finished the job outside, I came in, put my clothes into the washing machine, then hopped into the shower.

This gives you an idea of just how miraculous it is that I even talked myself into doing this chore in the first place.

We'll see how it goes. I certainly hope this helped.

...and now, I'm pretty sure that I need a drink.

I hate bugs.

As Dot from the "Animaniacs" would say: Deeee-sgusting!!

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