You need to find out how to get rid of aphids in your UK polytunnel if you want to keep your UK gardening efforts from going to waste. In case you’re not aware, an aphid infestation can be devastating to your crops and plants.
While placing your plants in a mini polytunnel lowers the risk of attracting harmful insects, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. First, let’s find out how aphids harm your plants and what attracts them to your British garden.
What Makes Aphids Harmful to Plants?
Aphids are phloem-feeding bugs that have a piercing-sucking mouth to suck the nectar and other metabolic products made by your plants. These pesky little bugs can only cause minor damage to the tissues, but it sucks your plant’s nutrients and energy. Additionally, aphids can carry certain diseases that can infect and even kill your plants. Lastly, when aphids feed, your plants will produce honeydew. This sticky substance is the perfect environment for mould to grow.
What Attracts Them to Your UK Garden?
Certain environmental conditions attract aphids to your British garden, causing them to reproduce and cause further damage. Prevention is better than cure, so it’s best to prevent aphids before they could even get to your plants.
Keeping your plants healthy is the key to prevent diseases and infestations. Here are some of the tips you need to remember to avoid harmful insects from infecting your plants:
Tip #1. Avoid overcrowding
Your plants shouldn’t be overcrowding, so make sure you space them are appropriate.
Tip#2. Use the right kind of soil.
Grow your plants in nutrient-rich and well-drained soil.
Tip #3. Ensure proper ventilation
If your plants are in a greenhouse, there should be enough ventilation.
Tip #4. Protect them from inclement weather
Extreme temperatures are also harmful to your plants, so make sure they’re safe from unpredictable weather.
Tip #5. Water your plants regularly
Create a sufficient watering or irrigation system specific to the plants you’re growing. It should give constant and appropriate moisture to your plants.
Tip #6. Keep everything clean and weed-free
Your garden soil should be regularly sanitised, and make sure that you periodically remove the weeds from your UK garden.
Tips #7. Apply pest prevention techniques
Practice proper crop rotation and succession planting.
Tip #8. Grow plants that resist aphids.
Plant aphid-resistant plants around your crops to prevent them from transmitting diseases.
Tip #9. Don’t use nitrogen fertiliser
Add organic fertilisers when necessary but avoid using excessive nitrogen fertiliser because aphids are attracted to them.
How to Get Rid of Aphids in Your UK Greenhouse
Once you notice there are aphids inside your greenhouse, make sure to address the problem ASAP. These bugs can quickly reproduce and become resistant to different pesticides. It’s easier to prevent an infestation than control it, but if they’re already in your greenhouse, here’s what you can do:
Regularly check your plants at least once a week for any signs of aphids. Look for sticky discharge, mould, or curling leaves. Make sure to check the underside because that’s where aphids usually hide.
For initial problems, prune the stems covered in aphids and take them out of the greenhouse.
Spray your plants with a mild insecticide specific to targeting aphids. You can purchase this in your local UK garden store. Make sure to follow the instructions written in the directions.
Buy insects that prey on aphids and place them inside your greenhouse. Lacewings, ladybugs, and damsel bugs can control the number of aphids without harming your plants.
Plant companion plants that ward off aphids that lurk around your greenhouse. Some examples of great companion plants are the ones that emit a strong odour, including mint, dill, petunias, chives, garlic, and coriander.
The Benefits of Planting Inside a Mini Greenhouse
Greenhouses are a great place to grow plants because they create an ideal and enclosed environment for your plants to grow all year round. Other than that, greenhouses also protect your plants from insects and shield them from high winds, excessive rain, and unpredictable temperatures.
Other than that, here are some of the ways you can benefit from having a mini greenhouse:
Great for gardeners in the UK with limited space
If you’ve always enjoyed planting but don’t have enough space to grow different crops, you can use a mini greenhouse. Small greenhouses have a standard size of six feet, but there are smaller ones if this is still too big for you. You can place them anywhere – indoors or outdoors – and you can plant almost anything inside.
Start planting your crops earlier than usual
With a mini greenhouse, you can create an ideal climate for your plants so that you can plant them at any time of the year. You’ll be able to grow crops and ornamental plants before the cold season starts in your UK area. Once the weather warms, you have the option to transplant your plants into your British garden. By planting earlier than usual, you’ll be able to harvest crops earlier.
Protect your plants from snow and frost
A small polytunnel is excellent for tender plants that are sensitive to weather changes. Planting them inside a polytunnel can protect your plants from ice, frost, and snow during the colder seasons. You can place your plants inside until it’s safe for you to transplant them outside if you want to.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to get rid of aphids in your UK polytunnel make sure to act on the problem as soon as possible by following the steps outlined above. If you don’t have an infestation problem yet, it’s best to take the necessary actions to prevent them from damaging your plants.