Attack of the AphidsAnd I mean the kind you eat, not the kind you dance.  Last year I grew tomato plants because, while pregnant, I craved them like crazy.  Plus, there is nothing better than a Jersey tomato.  Or corn.  Or cranberries.  Or blueberries.  This year, with food being as dangerous as it is to purchase, it looked like another great year to grow my own batch and add cilantro to the mix.  Dried cilantro tastes like, well, nothing, and the store bought variety is expensive.  Scallions and hot peppers would have rounded out the salsa menu, but I wanted to add one thing every year to see how I did.

This year, the bugs beat me.  The cilantro plant was indoors in a window box, between a basil (for pesto) and mint (for mojitos) plant. Close enough for aphids to sneak in and destroy the plant.  I can’t blame them, the plant smelled amazing.  So far it doesn’t seem to have spread to the nearby plants.  God bless the Internet, because the more I read about them, the more creeped out I am.  I now have visions of these little buggers crawling all over me and my kids. It also explains why there are at least four spider webs (and huge spiders) hanging out by my back door.  Less spiders, more lady bugs please!  (The lady bugs eat the aphids.)

While the plant is trashed, I am now looking into greener ways to keep the bugs from coming back on the tomato, basil, mint, lavender, and rosemary plants we still have.  What’s the point of growing your own veggies and herbs – besides price – if you are just going to slather them with chemicals?  Homemade insecticidal soap seems to be the key, and I’ve got the ingredients in the house to make it.

So while I will have to purchase cilantro in the store this year, my tomato plants are doing fine.  Besides, tomato and basil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a great meal!

[tags]cilantro, basil, tomato, mint, aphids[/tags]