Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Garden doctor: How do I get rid of aphids?

Greenpeach aphids are seen in a cluster. Aphids have long, slender mouth parts used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluid. Courtesy photo

By
From page A3 | April 14, 2013 |

Learn more

What: Yolo County Master Gardener information table at Picnic Day

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20

Where: Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, UC Davis

Question: How do I get rid of the aphids on my ornamental garden shrubs?

Answer: As the weather begins to warm, gardeners start to see tiny clusters of aphids on all types of plants. Aphids can be white, black, yellow, brown or red and can infect all types of shrubs, trees and even vegetables. In fact, the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management website, www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7404.html, notes there is some type of aphid for just about every plant.

Aphids are small, pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects with long legs and antennae. They have long, slender mouth parts used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluid. It is often difficult to distinguish aphids from other small insects without a magnifying device but they are seldom seen alone, always in clusters.

A telltale sign of aphids is the discharge of honeydew (a sticky substance) that attracts ants. While feeding on the honeydew, the ants inadvertently spread the aphids, causing an even larger infestation. The honeydew often turns black, causing the growth of a sooty mold fungus.

While a few aphids do little damage to plants, a large infestation can cause any number of problems from curling, yellowing, distortion of leaves and stunting of shoots. Some aphid species inject a toxin into plants, which further distorts growth. A few species cause gall formations.

It is best to get an early start controlling aphids during our spring weather by unleashing a strong spray of water on sturdy plants early in the morning. The aphids are knocked to the ground and for the most part unable to return to the plant. Being diligent with regular spraying, every few days, should keep the aphids under control.

Insecticidal soap and neem oil are chemical controls recommended by the IPM site. These sprays kill aphids and their natural enemies. However, they leave no toxic residue. Be sure to read and follow label directions on all chemical controls. Also, as noted above, refer to the IPM site on aphids for a thorough, in-depth summary of the uses of insecticidal soap and neem oil.

Many predators also feed on aphids. The most well-known are lady beetle, lacewing and syrphid fly. Naturally occurring predators work best, especially in a small backyard situation. Weather plays an important part in the life cycle of aphids. Days with temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees are the prime time for aphids.

Question: Can drip watering be used for shrubs, annuals and vegetables?

Answer: Yes drip irrigation can be used on all these plants very effectively. Like any process, planning is essential. Remember that the goal in watering is to water deeply and infrequently, providing water to the entire root zone and a little beyond. Many plants will root deeper when watered just beyond the root zone, which is particularly beneficial to shrubs and perennials. This deep watering also reduces salt buildup and greatly reduces conditions for diseases that thrive with excessive evaporation due to watering shallowly.

Drip watering or irrigation is composed of three components. You will have a control head that includes a control and a filter. There is also the transmission system of pipes and hoses that deliver the water and then there are the emitters. Pay close attention to the emitters for the volume of water you want delivered in a given amount of time such as a half-gallon an hour or a gallon an hour.

Drip watering also allows you to use taller, low emitting sprayers, but you don’t want to mix emitters with sprayers. Keep emitters on one line (source of water) and sprayers on another. This way you’ll have a more even water pressure running through the lines.

This system can be put on timers so that watering takes place in the early morning hours when there is less evaporation. You will have to adjust the amount of time and the frequency for your particular garden. To get you started during the spring and fall months, 15 minutes daily should be adequate to reach the root zone and during the summer it will be about an hour daily. You can adjust from these points.

Also, you can change out the emitters so that more or less water is being delivered to a particular plant. Shrubs will need the larger volume while annuals and vegetables probably will do fine with a lower-volume emitter and they can all be on the same line.

Like any irrigation system, it is only as good as how it is managed. Because the openings are tiny, you will want to routinely check your emitters to be sure they aren’t clogged with dirt or silt. The advantage to using this type of system for watering is that the water is delivered efficiently and directly to the root zone.

From the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources website, you can order numerous publications, one of which is “Drip Irrigation in the Home Landscape,” http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/LawnGarden.

— Send questions, addressed to the “Garden Doctor,” by email to mgyolo@ucdavis.edu, voice mail to 530-666-8737 or regular mail to UCCE Master Gardeners, 70 N. Cottonwood St., Woodland, CA 95695. Be sure to include your contact information, because any questions not answered in the Garden Doctor column will be answered with a phone call or email to you.

You can request the Yolo Gardener newsletter delivered by email and learn more about the Master Gardener program in Yolo County at http://ceyolo.ucdavis.edu/Gardening_and_Master_Gardening.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

 
Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

 
Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Feeling shunned after tragedy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6