Things are coming along slowly but surely on the seed starting front. I try to examine my seedlings very closely on a daily basis to look for any signs of trouble. Some of you may recall that I had a serious run-in with green aphids last year, which you can read about here. I'd purchased several infected plants from an online nursery and the little bastards ended up spreading to the rest of my indoor seedlings, ultimately decimating my artichoke plants.
You can understand now why I FLIPPED OUT yesterday when I spotted several green aphids on my bok choy microgreens. How on earth was this possible?! They'd disappeared from the basement when I set out all of my plants last spring and my fall seedlings showed no signs of infection. Then it dawned on me that several weeks ago, I'd brought inside from the hoop house my carrot bucket to thaw out. Stupidly, I placed it down in the basement next to my seed starting shelves. Upon closer inspection, the bucket harbored a huge colony of overwintering aphids (surely descendants from last year's brood). I moved as quickly as I could to quarantine my seedlings. I dumped the carrot bucket outside and moved the microgreens onto the back porch. I inspected my seedlings and found several aphids so I saturated everything with organic insecticidal soap spray. For now, I've placed clear plastic domes over all of my plant trays to prevent any stray bugs from getting to them. Tomorrow night, I will wipe down the shelves as an added precaution and spray again in a week. I will not remove the domes unless I am confident that the aphids are gone. From now on, no more foreign or outdoor plants in the basement!
Aphids aside, here's how the seedlings are looking at the moment:
Last year's scallion seeds
Last year's celery seeds
Winter Density lettuce