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Lemon Tree Rescue

Clean lemon treeI was trying to come up with a good Title for this post that would describe the nature of it at a glance and I couldn’t decide whether “Operation Lemon Tree” or “Lemon Tree Rescue” would be more appropriate. The gist of it is that my poor Lemon Tree has been under attack by black, green AND woolly aphids and other things I could not identify. Since January I’ve been trying to cure it. I sprayed … it got worse! I sprayed again … it got even worse. I pruned it a bit, watered it well, mulched it, loved it, talked to it … I even begged the aphids to leave – all to no avail. It just got worse.

It is a very tall tree so I set up the ladder and climbed up to spray it some more with the result that I got a faceful of “spray”. Ugh! I was at my wits end with it and was contemplating chopping it down, but it still produces lemons even with all the creepies living on the leaves and yesterday we noticed that it even has flowers. So I decided in a last ditch attempt today to get back up that ladder and hand-wash each and every leaf and stalk to rid it of these pests. The “mixture” we used to wash it with included garlic, some crushed basil and ordinary soap.

So here we are many hours later with one aphid-free lemon tree. We’ve added some more compost, planted the mint and a few nasturtium seedlings below it, I’ve said a little prayer and now we will wait to see what happens.

[one_half]Aphid-free Lemon TreeAphid free lemon tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Aphid deterrents at ground levelPeppermint and Nasturtiums[/one_half_last]

Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening

More Nasties in my Lemon Tree

Ants on lemon treeNow check this out!  With the macro lens on my camera, I saw this and got a big fright! They are just eeeeeuuw! What are they?  I see that the ants are ‘farming’ hundreds of these little nasties. With the naked eye, it looked like a fungus. They could be aphids but they look like scale. I am not sure. Do you know what this could be? My poor lemon tree is riddled with them. I know I have to get rid of the ants first. They farm aphids and the like and keep the good bugs from getting to them. So, the ant infestation must be dealt with. By the way, we have a big ant problem this year. It has not been this bad in a very long time – a few years, in fact.

This week, I need help on establishing what these things are.