Currants

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Miry, May 11, 2015.

  1. Miry

    Miry Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gibsons BC Canada
    I have a currant bush loaded with berries and I'm wondering what I should spray on it to keep the aphids away.
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    I wonder which aphid you have - is it like the ones we commonly get on peas at the coast?
    like this - http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/insects/print,aphids-on-peas.html

    or - do local currants get this specialized "currant aphid" https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=491

    ========

    I have not dealt with the specialized "currant aphids" - only the pea aphid - and so I would start by gently spraying your currant shrub with your garden hose (but make sure it hasn't been lying in the sun and sprays hot water!) - get at the underside of the leaves - repeat for a few days in a row.

    some people say use a mild dish detergent diluted in a spray bottle of water - again make sure you get the underside of the leaves - repeat. (if you recycle a spray bottle, say one that formerly contained window cleaner or something - make sure it is very well rinsed incl the sprayer mechanism inside parts - brand new empty bottles are readily avail at the dollar and hardware shops)

    I always understood that it is not the actual soap chemical that kills the aphids - instead, they "suffocate" ---- I am not an bug control expert - so someone please fill in my knowledge gap.

    I would be very cautious about using anything harsher because a) we just don't need that in a garden (my belief) ... b) you're going to eat your currants ... c) you have pets and wildlife etc butterflies etc in your garden

    I wonder if there is any researched truth to the old story that plants that are stressed are more susceptible to aphids etc - expert opinion anyone? If that is true - then you'd wonder why your current is stressed. Mine at the coast does well in some nice rich soil that drains well, shaded roots, part-sun/part-shade location in the garden.

    pretty much the only plants i end up with aphids on are my peas (both the veggie-edible and sweet flowering peas)

    maybe you can post a photo of your shrub and the offenders.
     
  3. Miry

    Miry Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gibsons BC Canada
    My currant bush looks really healthy right now although I don't see any aphids but I see small ants.

    Last year the aphids got so bad I had to cut the whole bush back and dispose of everything.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Miry

    Miry Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gibsons BC Canada
    Another picture. I don't know why the other pictures showed upside down?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,803
    Likes Received:
    505
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Perhaps the real problem here are the ants since some are known to farm pests such as aphids and scale for their honeydew. The ants transport the pests to plants and protect them from their predators.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    yes, I have read about ants actually planning to make aphids occur for ant purposes!
    ===========================
    Miry: I misunderstood - I thought you already had an aphid issue - clearly you don't at this time.

    Your plants look really nice.

    Were they this well established and healthy-looking at this phase of development last year? (perhaps that could be a clue as to why you had them last year)

    (if you're like me - I diarize (document) my garden with some home-made panoramic photos (digital photos with date in the lower corner) then I remember where the crocus grove is - and the color of that rhodo - and so forth ; )
     
  7. Miry

    Miry Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gibsons BC Canada
    That's amazing what ants do.

    I think my plants actually look better this year. The other two bushes I had I removed them. I'm hoping I won't have a problem because I will have to get rid of this bush too.

    I love making jam and that is why I want to protect it.

    I just went out and sprayed it everywhere, not bad stuff, in hopes of keeping it

    Do I have to worry about raspberries too?

    I have a lot of birds around so it is too bad that they don't eat them.

    Here is an odd question, I have a bird bath and what I have been noticing is that the crows are coming and dipping their food in it. Then the waters looks dirty and because of the smell it is attracting my dogs to it. I drained it this morning and didn't refill it. Is there anything I can do about this.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    hi Miry - i have never seen a bird - or a ladybug or other suggested aphid control bug - eating an aphid in my many decades of gardening indoors and out, greenhouse, etc

    I think it is normal for birds to "play" with their food - rinse and repeat. etc.

    do NOT let your dog pups near the crows
    a) the dogs might get the birds anxious = dive bomb them (swoop at them) - it happens - and I don't mind - I am careful with my house pets that's for sure. Plus the barking at everything that moves syndrome gets old really fast! ; ) ---- I have had my hair combed by an owl - i was under a tree and it came down and let me know very clearly I should not be there - again I don't mind - it is their natural environment and I won't soon forget that! (I think I didn't realize they had a nest right above where I was standing on our cottage trail)

    b) the bird bath water is not what I would want my pets to consume - depending on the season (heavy winter rain vs spring-summer-fall), I wear gloves and use diluted peroxide bleach (IGA Gibsons) to scrub and rinse (at least twice) then refill my bird baths - dogs like yucky odors and delicious treats don't they - I know what our farm dog would do - and my neighbors' beach walk dogs will roll in .. ugh.

    I have a stone bird bath but I don't like to use it because I am not sure what it absorbs - so I use those planter trays (the ones you put under a plastic pot) - I don't use the ceramic ones due to glaze (is it toxic?) and also - freezing and breaking. I like the plastic ones as they scrub clean - I found a couple of dish scrub brushes at a garage sale and use them exclusively for this purpose (rinse and dry betw/ use - plus I have a carton of healthcare gloves I use)

    one thing - and I will look this up - is in Gibsons BC area - there are crows with "avian pox" ---- ie very deformed feet and beaks - it is sad - and it is contagious - I saw a crow in Gibsons Sept 2014 that was very deformed in both feet and beak and head - it was highly noticeable and sad to think it eventually may die a slow death due to not being able to drink water or eat etc. Start here - http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/wldhealth/avian_pox_fs.pdf\

    here is a photo of avian pox - it is not a photo from Gibsons - it is elsewhere but the one I saw looked like this https://corvidresearch.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/identifying-crows-dieases-avian-pox/
     
  9. Miry

    Miry Member

    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Gibsons BC Canada
    That's is scary about the crows. I've never heard about avian pox before. Is this something new?

    I haven't filled my bird bath again, it is made of cement.

    I do have quite a few birds coming in my yard, Northern Flicker, House Finch, Song Sparrow, Siskins, Goldfinch, Thrush, Towhee, and the other day Green Swallow. There might be others that I haven't noticed.

    Thanks for all the information.
     

Share This Page