Everyday aphids feasting on tomato
I have five tomatoes in containers next to each other and aphids are on all of them, but from the very start the Cosmonaut Volkov tomato has been plagued by them and suffered the most. I knock them back with a spray of horticultural oil, Diatomaceous earth, water and a touch of soap but they com back with a vengeance on this particular plant.
All plants have been fed and watered the same, are in the same soil and close enough to be touching so it seems to point out that this plant is just super delicious to the aphids. Or is there something else? The tomato has much less foliage, but they started out looking similar. Loss of leaves is probably due to the aphids. So, what else?
The other plants have aphids on them but seem to be able to handle them much better. They also have spiders and a few of those ladybugs that bug us by the thousands during the Winter. We did not have as many as years past so is this low population a reflection of something else going on?
Hmmm, more spiders and tiny wasps that feed on aphids. So is it that Cosmonaut Volkov is not as attractive to the beneficial? Maybe even repulsive to the other insects? I'll pose that question to a few discussion groups to see if others have noticed this.
Now I have a choice. I could probably pull them out of their spiral with more aggressive sprays, but what will happen to the beneficials that are doing their job elsewhere? I want to stay organic so maybe I'll try some garlic or red pepper, but that is more of a deterrent not an insecticide. I've stepped up the soap but seemed to burn the leaves about as much as the aphids damage by their feeding.
The other tomatoes are doing well. One took a hit from some heavy rain the other day, but it can be fortified and will rebound. It was between two others that took it all in stride, so were the stems weaker or a particular down blast got it? The wonders of nature.
Speaking of nature, the weak tomato reinforces something the organic gardener has to accept. Sometimes the plant loses. Not all plants do well or thrive, no matter what you do to bolster it. Rather than succumb to the temptation of using artificial solutions, the Volkov tomato will live or die with what I have.
COUILLES DE TAUREAU is mentioned in a comment below (affectionately called "Bull's Balls)