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By Chris Hayes
Plants grown in an AeroGarden are susceptible to all the same pests as other indoor houseplants. They can enter your home through open windows, on clothing, or on produce, flowers, or potted plants. If you see fine white threads on or between leaves, tiny black or green specks on stems or the underside of leaves, or a sticky substance on the surface of the leaves or grow deck, your plants may have picked up some hitchhikers. If you suspect you have some, look over your plants carefully with a magnifying glass. The following websites can help you identify insects that may affect your plants (click on the links below):
Please be aware that the recommended control procedures listed on some of these sites may not be recommended for food plants.
If you do find insects on your plants, and your plants are still young and small, we recommend that you follow this procedure:
1. Unplug the AeroGarden
2. Remove the Bowl from the Base.
3. Carefully lift each seed pod, with plant, out of the Grow Surface.
4. Turn each plant upside down under a faucet and gently run water over the underside of the leaves to rinse as many of the insects off as possible
5. Wipe down all surfaces of your AeroGarden with disinfectant, as well as the areas around your AeroGarden.
6. Check each plant for any remaining insects. Rinse again if necessary.
7. Return the seed pods to the AeroGarden Grow Surface, the Grow Surface into the Bowl, and the Bowl onto the Base.
8. Plug the AeroGarden back in.
If your plants are older, larger and/or have fruit or flowers we recommend the following:
2. Remove the Bowl from the Base
3. Prune out heavily infested or severely damaged leaves, and discard the damaged leaves in a sealable plastic bag.
4. Apply an insecticidal soap (such as Safer® brand), or a pyrethrin-based insecticidal spray (available from your local garden center), or the homemade recipe below on your plants. Be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves (or use your gloved hands to rub the spray on). NOTE: NEVER spray the plants while they are in the AeroGarden because if the spray hits the hot Grow Bulbs, the bulbs may shatter.
5. Replace the Bowl onto the Base.
6. Plug the AeroGarden back in.
7. Treat all susceptible houseplants at the same time and repeat the treatment at least twice at weekly intervals to control newly-hatched pests.
8. Continue to monitor closely, and repeat this treatment until the problem is resolved.
Here is a recipe for a gentle insecticidal soap spray that works well on soft-bodied insects such as aphids:
Organic Pest Deterrent
1 Tbsp liquid castille soap with peppermint (such as Dr. Bronner’s® brand, which is available at most natural food stores)
2 cups water
Mix together and put in an empty spray bottle.
And here is a website recommended by one of our customers, with recipes for more home-made organic pest and disease remedies:
Spider mites are particularly difficult to eradicate. To check for spider mites, inspect the underside of the leaves; they look like tiny gray dots. A heavily infested plant will have noticeable webs on the top sides of the leaves. If you see spider mites on your plants we recommend following the second procedure above using the pyrethrin-based insecticidal spray. Safer® is a registered trademark of Safer, Inc.Dr. Bronner’s is a registered trademark of ALL-ONE-GOD-FAITH, Inc.
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