View Full Version : Veganic my arse

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Mr Flibble
Jul 2nd, 2006, 01:12 AM
So, I have a little herb garden. It's great, I live in a city centre on the 3rd floor but I have my own little selection of plants on my balcony for culinary and pleasure use.

This evening we found however that somehow cute little greenfly (aphids) have found their way onto one of my plants. So, being the nice person I am I decided to investigate ways of trying to help them decide that actually they don't want to be there after all, without actually forcefully evicting or worse still bringing them to any harm. After all, they're just doing what they naturally do and if there is no way of achiving it then I'd rather they live out their lives than me masacre them all just because I like having plants to look at.

Armed with google I found The Vegan News (http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/febanews.htm) (Feb 98), which has the following advice about 'pests' in the 'Pest Control Tips' section:

Slugs and Snails - These slimy, horrible creatures can do a lot of damage in the veganic garden. <snip> Set slug traps: for example: jam jars of stale beer sunk up to their rims into the soil or halves of grapefruits <snip> And, you may still be able to purchase sachets of a microscopic nematode worm from the Organic Gardening Catalogue (http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/orgcat.htm) for about &#163;13.99. These worms, when watered onto the soil, will kill slugs for about 6 weeks
Aphids - Squash blackfly and greenfly with your fingers <snip> You can also control aphids by purchasing either predatory midges or the parasitic wasp
Caterpillars - Brassicas are particularly at risk from attack by the caterpillars of large and small white butterflies. Check your plants regularly, removing any caterpillars immediately and squash caterpillar eggs between your fingers. Keep young plants covered with a fine mesh to prevent adult butterflies from laying their eggs on the plants. Caterpillars can also be controlled biologically, by using sachets of the pathogen, Bacillus thuringiensis. Five, 5 g sachets of this bacterial culture cost &#163;7.30 and can be obtained from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. (http://www.btinternet.com/~bury_rd/orgcat.htm)


What sort of a vegan is this?! Are people only vegan when it's not their stuff in danger?

Anyway, and tips for getting rid of aphids for a vegan not hell bent on mindless destruction? The vegan soc suggests (as do other sites) that you spray them with soap solution, but will this cause them harm as opposed to just making the surface of the plant less tempting?

Jul 2nd, 2006, 01:52 AM
Soap will dissolve the fatty coating on the aphids' bodies and cause them to die of dehydration, Mr Flibble. What you can try is to get something bright yellow, and put it near your plants. Aphids (greenfly) like yellow things, and when you see them on whatever yellow object you have placed near your plants, you can carry them away and put them somewhere they will be of less harm, by shaking them or blowing them off into some hardy bushes. :)

Jul 2nd, 2006, 08:44 PM
Thats horrible to read:-( I could never do anything likethat i would rather they did eat my plant!
sorry to sabotage your thread,but for a week or too now I had been noticing a bush,which is on my way to work n obviously givin several differnt types of Ladybird a home..loads of them! I love ladybirds so I used to always spend a few moments having a look and watching them.
anyway, on my way to work few days ago,i noticed two stumps where the bush was! someone has chopped it down:(I keep hoping soem of the ladybirds at least, survived the chopping down of their habitat:(adn I hope whoever did it gets their cuppupence!!
I wonder how aphids get to places in the first place mr flibble!!!good luck anyways.sorry im not much help!

Jul 2nd, 2006, 09:07 PM
I remember reading something about garlic water. But i think that was for black fly on roses:confused: but it might work?

Just crush a couple of cloves of garlic into a plant sprayer and fill with water within a couple of days spray onto the plants and the little buggers will bugger off:D

Jul 3rd, 2006, 12:14 AM
Apparently planting chives in with the herbs keeps them off... same effect as the garlic, they don't like oniony things.

Jul 3rd, 2006, 12:20 AM
You could go and grab Sugarmouse's ladybirds. They eat aphids I believe (not a very vegan solution I suppose!)

I think Seaside's idea will work.

Mr Flibble
Jul 3rd, 2006, 01:49 AM
Well, I took the due and wind idea first - a spray mist of water and fan for a couple of hours. Sort of worked. My lovely assistant also tried brushing them off with a pastry brush. Finally I left the only yellow thing I own on the balcony for a while - a copy of "Stepping into Freedom" by Thich Nhan Hanh (I thought it was apt). Only one decided it wanted to convert to buddhism thou.

I'll give the garlic idea a go tomorrow night - thanks (provided of course it's just a smell they don't like as opposed to disolving them - will read up first ;)). I was gonna get some chives anyway, so will get some asap. As for ladybirds I don't really support breeding any animals not to mention preditors, so not really an option ;)

Thanks for the soap info Seaside, disturbing if that is the case that the vegansociety recommend it :eek:

Jul 3rd, 2006, 01:53 AM
Only one decided it wanted to convert to buddhism thou.
Try a pot of yellow daisies. They might like the yellow daisies better than the book.

Mr Flibble
Jul 24th, 2006, 11:33 AM
As an update - I tried the spraying with water and fan idea a few times, then purchased some chives (which Iw as going to anyway) and draped them over the infected plant. Seems to have done the trick! :)

pat sommer
Jul 24th, 2006, 11:49 AM
goodluck with the herb loving beasties. Next year companion planting, nets etc might discourage the wee invaders but once they are there and breeding.... oh and if it continues, ants will show up to lick the residual sugar syrup off the backsides of aphids (and take up permanent residence even 3 floors up). I have to admit to killing. Clean quick squish if its early in the infestation otherwise bye bye plant- your out on the street.

Jul 24th, 2006, 12:29 PM
I wonder how aphids get to places in the first place mr flibble!!!!

Aphids are just wingless greenfly. The mummy greenfly flies to a plant (e.g. on a balcony in Coventry!) and lays an egg, which develops into a female wingless aphid, and then singlehandedly goes about populating the entire plant with baby female aphids. Clever. I can't remember how many little clones they can produce in a day, but it's a lot! At some point, and I'm not quite sure of the exact trigger but presumably it's something to do with running out of leaves, some of the females sprout wings and fly away to another plant. Some of them also develop into (winged) males so that the next year's batch of aphids aren't all inbred ;)

My mum uses the washing up liquid (/kill the aphid through dehydration) approach. She told me that it made it the leaves slippy so they went to find another plant :( Oops.

Jul 24th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Mr flibble if you get rooted chives and plant them in the pot it should keep them away all summer, you can divide a chive plant up by hand and stick a little in each pot.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 02:50 PM
I've heard planting marigolds next to a plant you want to keep aphid free works too. Garlic too.

Feb 24th, 2007, 10:53 PM
Sorry Mr. Flibble but you will just have to learn to share :)
In my experience, if the little * bugs* take a liking to your plants you just have to accept it. Frustrating I know, but that is life...
BTW your fire pic looks beautiful.

May 15th, 2007, 06:45 PM
This site may be of use. www.veganorganic.net It's based on the Vegan Organic Trust, which is based in Manchester. It's worth a look at.

May 16th, 2007, 08:55 AM
apparently is now called the vegan organic network pisces - i've just joined!

but what about slugs people...WHAT ABOUT SLUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

Ruby Rose
May 16th, 2007, 09:11 AM
I've tried everything with my slugs to encourage them to relocate without killing them. Coffee grounds, orange peel, garlic - you name it. They just look at it as one grand slug buffet.

The only thing that has actually worked is picking the slugs off (with rubber gloves on for we squeemies), putting them in a tub, and taking them up to the field.

That, and giving up on trying to grow hostas.

May 16th, 2007, 09:48 AM
i've just picked another 12 off this morning and things have def been eaten in the night.

(sigh) this is one of those areas where lots of different things come into play for me:

i want to grow my own food organically - why?
i want organic food that is as fresh as it can be, that hasn't travelled air/road miles adding to a eco footprint. its good for my body to be exercising while gardening, good for my soul for connection with the earth.

i'm also vegan so i dont want to eat, use or harm living creatures.

slugs eat 50&#37; or more of my crops.

i want to maintain my reasons for growing my own food yet if my vegan ethics prevent this??

its food for thought for me....

May 16th, 2007, 03:16 PM
I was told they don't like hair, so cut some off (or nip to the hairdressers) and spread it around. Also, I don't think they like copper (don't know why) but that might not be much help. Maybe some sand or stones around your beds? They wouldn't want to go on that.

Do you have room for a pond? Toads eat slugs (as do hedgehogs). Still death I suppose though.

Do slugs particularly like a certain crop/plant? Maybe plant some "sacrifice" plants in between the ones you want?

May 16th, 2007, 04:37 PM
That's interesting about the hair, RedWellies. I'd like to put that to the test when I can grow a veganic garden of my own. I wasn't aware of that possibility.

I found a website, which talks about slugs' dietary habits. It says that decayed vegetation can be part of it's diet. So, using "sacrifice plants" could also be a possibility. Here's the website for more information.

Here's an excerpt from the site about its dietary habits.

Food Habits

Arion ater spend most of their time eating. This is done with an enclosed radula that contains transverse rows of sharp teeth. The slug's diet consists mostly of fungi and plants, but is occasionally supplemented by worms, insects, decaying vegetation, and feces. Slugs feed mostly at night when conditions are cool and moist (Long 1999).

There's hope...:)

May 16th, 2007, 06:17 PM
just though to perhaps sprinkle some peelings, cores, a few odds and ends of compost stuff on the veg bed - maybe slugs would eat that instead of nice green, juicy shoots??? worth a try...dont want to attract rats though, we have a quaggy nearby...

May 16th, 2007, 06:24 PM
A friend of mine picks up her slugs and puts them in the compost bin where they thrive happily and leave her (living) plants alone.

May 16th, 2007, 06:33 PM
perhaps something should be said to these vegan writers about encouraging killing slugs and caterpillers- surely we aren't suppose to chose which life lives or dies just because they like eating our plants. I couldn't kill a caterpiller or a slug or snail (except when i accidently stepped on one :eek:and that was very upsetting :( )
maybe i will write to them


May 17th, 2007, 12:54 AM
cant stand slugs and last summer they kept finding way into kitchen ev nite which is just eugh, i used to chuck em all back in the garden late ev nite. found if left light on they didn come in,not good for elec use tho! hope they dont return...

May 17th, 2007, 08:16 AM
I think that advice from the website is pretty harsh and not something I would expect from a veganic org. At the same time I think save as many as you can reasonably, but there's too many bugs and the quicker you kill them off the less you have to kill later.

I would just go for whatever kills them the quickest with the least pain. But try the non lethal methods first. If the bugs mean more to you then the plant, which I understand, maybe you should just sacrifice the plant and let all the bugs live.