What is the best way to control aphids on my plants? I have trouble with them every year.
Control of aphids should begin with the first appearance of these insects, before the numbers multiply significantly. They do reproduce in the usual way in early summer, however in the peak of the season the females can produce enormous numbers of offspring without having mated. This accounts for the massive number of aphids appearing virtually overnight.
As aphids appear on the soft growing tips of plants, spray them with a garden hose, projecting a reasonably hard pressured mist. This should easily dislodge them. This action should be repeated at regular intervals 2-3 times a day initially. The aphids rapidly become discouraged and will often move away.
On more mature plants, spray a diluted solution of horticultural oil which will deal with aphids very efficiently. With edible plants, soapy water is also quite effective in controlling populations of aphids, especially with repeat applications over a short period of time.