Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


How cute...they want to be farmers too!

So, for all the pretty I have gotten from my runner beans, there aren't ANY pods growing out there...and there should be.  I have noticed a few ants running up and down the vines, but to my way of thinking, they can't account for the lack of beans all by themselves. A closer inspection found a bunch of little dark spots gathered in the corners and elbows of the vines and twine holding them up.

Some research on the internet found that these are commonly called blackfly, and they are a type of aphid.  The ants are around because the essentially milk the aphids...they dig the sweet juice that that aphids produce as they suck on the plants.  To ensure they get to keep that juice, the ants protect the aphids.

I'm still not sure that these blackfly's are 100% responsible for the lack of beans, but, they probably aren't helping.  The two methods of making them go away are getting rid of the ants, predatory bugs come back, OR getting rid of the blackfly's, which is what I am trying to do.  When I find a bunch like that, I blast them with a soap/water mixture. 

I figure we'll give this a few days before considering scarier chemical options. 


  1. See if you can get Neem oil and add that to the soap/water mixture. Thats what I've been using here. Seems to be working.

  2. Another thought, different fertilizers can have different effects on the plants, I'm sure you know that, but for example if you have soil thats to rich in one nutrient it can cause the plants to GROW but not produce as good fruit, I think its nitrogen that does that, but double check me....