Many years ago I planted some tree tomato plants (New Zealanders invented the name tamarillo) at a friends place in Perth. They did extremely well, absolutely thriving.
Then one trip to Perth, to my horror, the beatiful big leaves were looking tattered and on closer inspection they were being eaten by aphids. :shock:
I went straight to the telephone and rang the Agriculture Dept. Luckily I asked for entimology and not the gardening section. My question:Where can I get ladtbirds or praying mantids? ???
The kind old entemoligist on the phone asked why I wanted them and when I replied he paused. I would think that the aphids would be doing your tree tomatos a favour, he said in a cheery voice. They are trying to lose their old leaves at the moment to make way for new ones.
I went back outside and checked. Sure enough, the aphids were only eating the old, dying leaves. The new leaves, just sprouting were looking remarkably vibrant.
I occasionally see aphids in my garden but never fret about their presence. There is always something ready to clean them up.
Jeff Nugent, SW W.Australia 34deg.S
Mediterranean climate -
Hot, dry summers. Cold wet winters. Rarely a frost.
200m elevation, 75km from west and 60km from south coasts.