The blackfly have arrived. One day, nothing, the next there are aphid armies amassed on the broad beans (so much for the nasturtium distractions). But where there are aphids there will also be aphid predators like these harlequin ladybirds (who knew blackfly was a harlequin’s aphrodisiac?).
To help the ladybirds fend off the enemies we deploy three stages of blackfly blitzing…
Stage 1 – for minor outbreaks
Squash what you can with your fingers and leave the rest to the bugs.
Stage 2 – for increased occupation
Blast them off with water. And adding a bit of soap makes the plant slippery, preventing them from returning.
Stage 3 – for infestation
Sever the tips of the plants. This is the area that attracts the blackfly and by preventing upward growth you’ll also concentrate the plant’s energies into pod development. However, as we’re light on pods due to lack of pollination (bad weather and bee shortage) this will be a last resort.