Friday, April 13, 2012

Ant Feeding Frenzy Put to an End! 
I showed you some pretty blossoms on my lemon-lime tree that miraculously made it through the winter.  About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a bazillion ants marching up and down the live portions of the plant without a care in the world.  I sprayed them off and they returned.  I was frustrated and once again googled my heart out to try to find out what the problem was.  It seemed the issue was scale insects are on the plant, which secrete a sugary substance the ants are "farming."  It can also be aphids.  The answer is white oil.  Next step was to make homemade white oil of course because I do everything at home if at all possible.  I googled that too.  I found several recipes and they were all pretty much the same.  1 part dish soap (I used Sunlight because the recipe I used specified this brand), 2 parts vegetable oil (I used teaspoons for 1 quart of water so I had no leftovers) mixed well and then dilute 1 tablespoon of this into 1 quart of water and spray all over the plant including both sides of the leaves.  This needs to be repeated on a weekly basis until the problem is completely eradicated.  The oil will suffocate the insects and this mixture will kill the sooty mold as well.  This should not be used until after the flowers have blossomed and the fruit has set.  I've also given the soil a nice, citrus fertilizer spike to give the plant an added boost of vitamins to help it recover.  
The little baby parsley is looking very cute.  After all this time, the seeds seem to finally have taken hold and growing on one side of the planter.  We'll wait a bit longer until the seedlings get a bit larger before we thin them out and move the ones we pluck out to the other side of the planter.  I'm just glad to see that they are finally growing.  I thought for a while we weren't going to get anything in the box at all.  Would you believe the plumeria is actually beginning to poke out the top of those slips??  I am amazed!  The sheet of paper that came with them said 90 days or something like that to get roots.  I was a bit concerned because little Josh was having a ton of fun with the hose last weekend and sprayed water water everywhere and my plants got soaked.  The instructions were VERY clear about making sure not to over water these slips.  So I was more than a little worried about them since they took on quite a bit of water if you recall.  Today, I was more careful and prepared for my little man.  I moved them far out of the little guy's reach as well as the range of the sprayer.  

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