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Old 15.07.2011, 15:15
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Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

Hey guys, I've decided to grow my first garden this year. I have a garden in our yard and some boxes with plants on our balcony. My plants in the garden seem to be doing well but I have a box with 2 pepper plants and a tomato plant. All of them are currently infested with tiny green aphids and eggs. I tried a mixture of vinegar and water. The aphids are still there and one of my pepper plants is pretty much dead now I've asked around neighbors and friends and they all quickly answered "Schmierseife". They've tried to explain that this is a kind of liquid soap to clean floors... or something like that. I don't really know what they are talking about. Does anyone know what it is and where I can purchase it (name brand and store name please)? How to use it on plants (mixture of water or something else in a spray bottle)? Also how healthy is it to spray this on food plants? Thanks in advance for any help.
LG Jennifer
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Old 15.07.2011, 15:28
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

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Hey guys, I've decided to grow my first garden this year. I have a garden in our yard and some boxes with plants on our balcony. My plants in the garden seem to be doing well but I have a box with 2 pepper plants and a tomato plant. All of them are currently infested with tiny green aphids and eggs. I tried a mixture of vinegar and water. The aphids are still there and one of my pepper plants is pretty much dead now I've asked around neighbors and friends and they all quickly answered "Schmierseife". They've tried to explain that this is a kind of liquid soap to clean floors... or something like that. I don't really know what they are talking about. Does anyone know what it is and where I can purchase it (name brand and store name please)? How to use it on plants (mixture of water or something else in a spray bottle)? Also how healthy is it to spray this on food plants? Thanks in advance for any help.
LG Jennifer
I don't know if its the same but I use "Kernseife" which I buy in Denner or Migros. I dissolve it in water and spray it on the plants using a spray bottle. Don't forget to spray underneath leaves as that's easily forgotten and the critters will survive there.

And one single spraying normally doesn't take care of them all. Come back 10 days or so later and do it again, even if you can't see any. If you don't they will be back double quick.

Basically it's just raw soap, so the same soap you would wash with but without the perfume bits or skin-friendly softeners put in. Can soap be bad for you? Of course you should wash the fruit before eating it.

But on a different note, and speaking about tomatoes, in my experience, healthy tomato plants don't suffer from aphids to any apprciable degree. Aphids always go for the bad ones, the old ones, the ones with stunted growth, sagging leaves, the ones that get left behind. So maybe there's something you can do for your tomato plant to make it stronger. Is it getting enough sun, water, love etc?
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Old 15.07.2011, 16:23
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

My Nan has always told me to use a solution of Fairy Liquid (washing up liquid if you are not English) and water in a trigger spray! This is cheap and works a treat and only needs to be a mild solution. I hope this helps.
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Old 15.07.2011, 16:32
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

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My Nan has always told me to use a solution of Fairy Liquid (washing up liquid if you are not English) and water in a trigger spray! This is cheap and works a treat and only needs to be a mild solution. I hope this helps.
That's what my entomologist-wife says too. She's going to let me know the right mix to get the best effect.

It's useful having someone on hand who's worked in plant pathology to check over any any ill plants.
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Old 15.07.2011, 17:20
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

So is fairy liquid a generic name for dish-washing soap, or is it a particular brand?

I've got some green bugs on my zucchini flowers, but I've just been washing them off before I cook the flowers. My tomatoes look ok so far - just starting to turn red.
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Old 15.07.2011, 17:44
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

It is a brand:



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So is fairy liquid a generic name for dish-washing soap, or is it a particular brand?

I've got some green bugs on my zucchini flowers, but I've just been washing them off before I cook the flowers. My tomatoes look ok so far - just starting to turn red.
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Old 15.07.2011, 21:58
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

As far as I can remember, Migros had Schmierseife in a plastic bottle-thingy with a handle the last time I was there. I've used it often to fight the nasty bugs and things that attack my plants, and it works a treat -- my husband's theory is that the schmiersiefe coats the stems of the plants and the bugs slide off and break their necks - could he be right??
Don't know the exact quanties in relation to water, I just slop some in the sprayer bottle, then add water and shake, then spray, working on the theory that a bit more can't harm much, and if it's not enough, I can always spray again. Anyhow it's a LOT cheaper than all the chemical stuff you can buy, and works just as well, if not better.
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Old 15.07.2011, 22:37
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

Why not plant some herbs or flowers (maybe edible ones) near your tomatoes and peppers which will attract ladybugs which will, in turn, eat the aphids?

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Ladybugs are a beneficial insect. Rather than considering them pests, gardeners lure ladybugs to their gardens because these beetles help control aphids, scale, spider mites mealybugs and whiteflies. You can purchase live ladybugs from a garden center, but most of them won't stay in your garden. Instead, attract them with pollen-rich plants planted near others you want to protect.
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Old 15.07.2011, 22:41
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Re: Garden Aphids and Schmierseife?

I use a washing up liquid spray too. Also of course it's not toxic for stuff you're going to eat.

Depending on what kind of plant you're talking about (obviously nothing too delicate) a reasonably high power soaking with the hose will also get rid of them. I use that method for greenfly on my roses especially and it does work - of course you have to do it regularly, but in the hot weather you're probably watering regularly anyway.
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