Backyard Vegetable Gardens: Choosing Fertilizers

When I moved from an apartment into my first house, a vegetable garden in the back yard was my priority. My goal was to plant vegetables in season, then can and freeze any extra for use later. While the goal was lofty, it was clear that I had a lot to learn. Take fertilizer for example. I had no idea that one kind was any better than the other. Fortunately, a kindly neighbor helped me to learn the value of soil analysis, reading the information on the packages before buying any product, and how the nutrients found in the product would affect the growth of different plants. If you are a novice gardener, let me help. I'll tell you what needs to be in that fertilizer, how to spread it properly, and what it will do for your vegetables.

The Cause And Effect Between Aphids And Tree Limb Removal


Aphids are one of the least considered threats to tree health and safety. However, a serious aphid infestation is often the cause of the kind of severe limb and branch damage that makes trimming or even removal necessary. Understanding these pests can help you understand how they compromise the health of your trees and their limbs.

Aphid Breed Like Rabbits

An individual aphid doesn't look like much, but each has the potential to breed plenty of damaging pests. A single aphid gives birth to up to 100 juveniles that will turn into a reproducing adult within a week. Birth rates up to five a day aren't uncommon during the heaviest aphid breeding period.

Even worse, aphids don't need to be fertilized to reproduce. While they can't give birth to a new generation without fertilization, females can actually create smaller clones through parthenogenesis. Though small, these clones are anatomically mature and ready to feast.

Aphids Damage Tree Limbs

The excessive breeding rate of aphids can cause your trees to get covered in the pests. While aphids shouldn't pose a deadly risk to the overall health of your tree, they can cause serious damage to individual limbs.

Aphids attach themselves to younger plants and trees and suck out the sap. In more mature trees, they'll attach to leaves and newer sprouts. Once they're done feeding, they secrete a goo called "honey dew" that will coat your shoots and leaves.

This goo promotes mold growth and opens your tree limb up to outside infection. Once this mold gets a foothold on your tree limb, it will quickly spread and threaten the tree's structural integrity. With enough damage, limb removal will become a necessary evil.

Eliminating Aphids Before Limb Removal

There are a variety of ways that you can eliminate aphids from your tree limbs before limb removal. Many of these methods are all-natural and shouldn't harm your tree. These aphid removal methods include:

  • Spraying the tree with a strong hose at least 2-3 times a day.
  • Spraying tree with a solution of 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 ½ cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of dish soap.
  • Squishing a few aphids by hand to release a chemical scent that warns the others of danger.
  • Applying garlic, rhubarb, hot pepper, or elderberry to tree limbs.
  • Sprinkling wood ash over the limbs.

While eliminating these aphids won't return your limb to its health, it will help slow down its damage and get these annoying pests out of the way when it comes time to trim.

If you fear that the limbs on any of your trees have been damaged by aphids, call a tree trimming and removal company such as Tidd Tree as soon as possible. They'll assess the situation and find a solution that works best for you and your tree.


9 June 2015