Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nasturtiums & Aphids

So, I had heard & read that nasturtiums are a lovely companion plant for your vegetable garden. As a bonus, the leaves & flowers are edible.

So, I was sold! I planted 3 around my tomatoes. And they were quite lovely, although they didn't flower much in my fertile soil (apparently they like crappy soil...)

Thus far, I've enjoyed a mostly pest-free garden! Then, I noticed an army of ants marching through the garden. And I turned over a leaf of the nasturtium to reveal THAT (:::pointing excitedly to photo above:::). Aphids! Black Aphids! On ALL the leaves.

And then I google a bit more that that is what nasturtiums do: Attract black aphids. Le duh, you might say. Since the nasturtium was covered with aphids and kinda on its last legs anyways, I pulled it out & threw it away (aphids & all!). I gave it a little eulogy as I chucked it into the trash, thanking it for it's service in protecting my vegetables. It was a good plant, may it R.I.P.

I've done a bit more reading on the subject. Did you know that when planted next to squash to deter cucumber beetles? Or, did you know that when planted next to eggplant, flea beetles will munch on nasturtium instead?

Nasturtiums: More Than Just a Pretty Face.

BTW...Anyone got an idea on what the non-aphid, bigger critters are in the photo above?!?

1 comment:

  1. I read elsewhere that nasturtiums are a "trap crop". The gardener plants them, they attract aphids away from other crops and the gardener throws away the nasturtium plant when it's chock-full of aphids. I planted them with my pepper plants last year and the bugs settled on them and left my food crop alone.