gdkid
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Ants farming aphids!

I have a BAD ant problem in my back yard, they farm aphids too. I had to pull my cauliflower because it got so bad. Now they are going for my corn, there are ants all over my corn and little black bugs I'm sure are aphids. I also had strawberry with my corn but the ants ate basically all of them and i had to pull them out too. I tried neem oil, lady bugs and praymantis's and putting packing tape backwords wrapped around my pots.
Any advice, or feedback would be great.
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Kisal
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The ants aren't eating the plants. They farm aphids so they can feed on the sweet honeydew liquid the aphids secrete. The aphids will certainly damage your plants, but they won't chew them. They only have sucking mouthparts, so they pierce through the surface of the leaves and stems and suck the sap from them.

Aphids are actually easy to deal with, but as long as the ants are there, you'll have to examine the plants every day. I usually just spray them off with the garden hose, but of course, the ants collect them and bring them back. You can just wipe the aphids off with your hands, squashing them. Wear gloves if you don't want them on your hands.

Gaining control over the ants would be the only way to completely remove the aphid problem. Even that would only be temporary, however, because in the fall, aphids develop wings and fly. My own philosophy is that aphids are a part of gardening and will always be around, with or without ants. I just try to keep the population low enough so there is no serious damage to my plants. I don't try to totally eradicate them. :)
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gdkid
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Hey Kisal thanks for the relpy. I moved my garden (they are in 45 gal pots) to the other side of my yard and washed the bottoms off and found some organic ant spray and sprayed around the pots and the bottoms... they seem to be a little better... the ant problem was horrible, they were in the soil... and all around my pots. but i think moving them and spraying around helped. Now im just trying to get all the weeds out of my back yard to help a little hopefully.
I agree there will always be some bugs, ant aphis ect., just cant let it get out of hand.
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klevelyn
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I had that problem last year with my artichokes. The ants were farming the aphids. I worked all summer keeping up with the aphids on those artichokes. We did get a nice harvest though.

I have started using Diamatamsous Earth. I sprinkle it around the plants on the ground. It is suppose to cut the ants bodies causing them to die of dehydration.

I get it at our feed store.

Here's a pic of the first choke we got off our plants last year.

[img]https://www.everyday-vegetable-garden.com/images/artichoke.jpg[/img]

This year I am going to be more proactive with the aphids.
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Kisal
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I thought your plants were in the ground. I've had container plants get infested with ants. That's why I began using plastic window screening cut to fit inside the bottoms of my containers. It allows quick drainage, but keeps critters like ants out. :D

I convinced the ants that were that were living in the container soil that it would be a really good idea to move, by placing the garden hose on the top of the soil. I turned it on to a very slow run and left it on all night, and sometimes all the next day. The soil became thoroughly saturated and the ants were rapidly leaving, carrying their babies with them. :lol:

Saturating a potted plant that way once, or even occasionally, does no harm, as long as you know you have a quick-draining growing medium. When I was sure all the ants had vamoosed, I let the soil drain for a few days. Then I gently removed the plant from the container, inserted a piece of plastic screening cut to fit the bottom of the pot, then gently replaced the plant. It worked just fine. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

gdkid
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klevelyn, nice lookin artichoke :) my friend used the Diamatamsous Earth for ear wigs last year, i forgot about it thanks... has it been helping on the ants?... i found some organic ant spray for inside and outdoor use and sprayed it around/on my pots. I use Smart Pots, there made out of a type of fabric and they sit on the ground. They drain and work real well, except the ants are just crawling around the bottom were the water is draining and climbing on the pots to get inside...
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GardenerEvan
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I am a new gardener and I was wondering do ants really make their colonies in plant pots?
I have a 100 gallon pot, and have just put in new cow manure,along with chicken poop and dirt i ncase that were to help.
I did see a steady of ants enter and leave when i flooded the pot with 5 gallons of water so I assume they lvie in there.

Any easy way to remove the ants if I already have a plant living and blooming with fruit?

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rainbowgardener
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See Kisal's post just above re flooding your pot/ planter.

100 gallon pot!? How big is that? Sounds like something I might call a planter or even a raised bed...
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Beth Brazil
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Those pesky ants

Here in west central Brazil we deal with ants all year round. One thing you can do is, if you find where their nest is, pour boiling water into their nest. Slows them down a bit! We often have ants farming aphids on our pole lima beans. Washing them off with a stream of water from the hose slows them down. If your plants are well fertilized, they will not be harmed unduly by the ants. Now, leaf cutter ants are another story entirely! For another time . . .

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lilscrappy
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ahm... my problems is
about my garden.. in my
backyard.. cause.. there are
worm in may garden and my
plant got.. a tiny body..
maybe because of the worm..
so when i read these forum.. i
interestly to by a fertilizers..
^_^

Joyfirst
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Re: Ants farming aphids!

Any more tips? I set out borax baits for ants, which reduced them somewhat, but not by much.

puzzlejunky
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Re: Ants farming aphids!

When my raspberries got those little blacks ants, I sprayed with a solution of mild dish soap mixed with water.

Around our apple tree around the trunk we placed sticky tape about 10 inches off the ground.

Both seemed to do the trick.

imafan26
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Re: Ants farming aphids!

I just put out terro ant bait which works on sweet eating ants.

I have fennel and marigolds as trap plants which the aphids will flock to. When the fennel blooms it will attract hover flies, parasitic wasps and lady bugs will lay their eggs on the fennel and gobble up the aphids. If you have a lot of predators they keep the aphids down, but you need to control the ants since the predators are not willing to tangle with the ants and will go after easier prey.

My fennel has worked so well that there have hardly been any aphids at all in the garden for 4 years now. I just did have an aphid infestation on kale, but it was a weak plant so I pulled it out and bagged it. There has not been a recurrence since then. My fennel had been replaced so it had not grown big enough to bloom at the time, but it is starting to put out flower spikes.

When I do see ants on the plants, I still put out ant bait. We have tropical fire ants so it is painful when they sting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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