What has infested my broccoli? :-(


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I'm attaching a picture. I don't know what it is but I know it isn't good, so I got a bag and gently cut every leaf off and bagged it leaving just the bare stalks.
I sealed the bag and it went out in the trash. Having such a hard time parting with my broccoli I washed the stalks including the root ball as best I could and replanted them in pots elsewhere - away from the garden just to see if I could salvage them. I then sprayed the stalks with Neem oil (which is the only thing I had - trying to keep it organic).

I then sprayed the dirt with Neem oil in the raised bed planter that they were in.

So can someone tell me what they are and here's my next question. I am very anxious to put some young tomato plants in that bed. What process do I need to go through to make it safe - more Neem oil? How long to wait?

Thank you for the help,
Karen in Newberry, FL
 

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I'm attaching a picture. I don't know what it is but I know it isn't good, so I got a bag and gently cut every leaf off and bagged it leaving just the bare stalks.
I sealed the bag and it went out in the trash. Having such a hard time parting with my broccoli I washed the stalks including the root ball as best I could and replanted them in pots elsewhere - away from the garden just to see if I could salvage them. I then sprayed the stalks with Neem oil (which is the only thing I had - trying to keep it organic).

I then sprayed the dirt with Neem oil in the raised bed planter that they were in.

So can someone tell me what they are and here's my next question. I am very anxious to put some young tomato plants in that bed. What process do I need to go through to make it safe - more Neem oil? How long to wait?

Thank you for the help,
Karen in Newberry, FL
What you have there is a bad infestation of aphids. From what you describe about the broccoli it is done for the year and I would throw away all plants and debris. Those type of aphids don't live in the soil so if you remove ALL of the plant debris it will be safe for your tomatoes. The reason aphids attacked your broccoli was that the plants were stressed and thus weakened. You must closely observe all of your plants during the growing season so you can take care of any problems before they become serious, like what happened to your broccoli. Neem works on aphids but it has a short life span when the bottle has been opened....about 4-6 weeks.

You could remove all of the affected leaves and you might get a few side shoots of broccoli but now is the time to put in your tomatoes if you want a good crop.
 
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