Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Blasted bugs have invaded my houseplants. I tote my tropical houseplants outside each summer when the weather rises above 60 degrees. They grow happily in the partial shade of my backyard. This year I decided to try to extend the existence of vegetable plants inside. I successfully over-wintered pepper plants, mint, and parsley last winter.

This fall I brought in peppers, eggplants (never produced during the summer), basil, and oregano plants. The goal is to have them survive to be planted outside in the spring. Recently I noticed that an eggplant leaf was covered with aphids. They won’t harm humans or cats but they will kill a plant. I didn’t want chemicals on edibles so I purchased Bonide Insecticidal Soap from the store. Sprayed the plants in the bathtub and sneezed. I’d prefer to utilize ladybugs but they are hibernating right now.

I have always had a chronic problem with tiny black flies, not fruit flies but little buggers. They were in the house when I moved in and I have never been able to rid myself of the colony. I went against my no-chemical vow to purchase Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control for use on the tropical plants. Nasty but I want to protect my veggies from whatever may be prowling the non-edible growth. Perhaps it will rid me of the dratted flies.

It is important to keep the vegetation watered during this dry season. The botanicals are located in my office due to the south-facing window. I close the door and turn on a wee space heater when I am on-line so the room gets warmed up after about an hour. I suppose that dries out the plants faster. I will water them for a couple weeks with dishy water, a gallon of water with a couple drops of liquid dishwashing soap to help flush out the bugs in the roots. After the prepared spray runs out I’ll mist the leaves with dishwashing soap to discourage bugs. A mild concentration of soap does not harm the plant or fruit in any way. The result is fewer aphids and one worm that tried to make a run for the hallway but died in the process. Tiny black flies remain to my distain.

The flora makes the office smell better. The humidity is nice. Delighted to harvest a ripe red pepper from one of the plants I brought inside. Some of the other plants have small peppers so I have been diligently watering them in hopes of further harvest. The lack of sunlight is not good but I don’t have any artificial grow lights to add to the window. I made the mistake of fertilizing with fish emulsion and the stench was horrific. Whirled fish bits are for outside only.

Fly away bugs!
2011 © Ima B. Musing

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