In years past, I've tried insecticidal soap and neem oil with unimpressive results. I feel like the insecticidal soap is ineffective, and that the neem oil fries my leaves and petals. But I can't just let the aphids win! What to do?
Well, here's what I'm trying this year, praying mantis.
I bought an egg case from a The Lily Pad in the Olympia Farmers Market last week. The lady who sold it to me said that the eggs "activate" at 75 degrees, then hatch about three weeks later. With the weather we've been having this year, I'll be lucky if these little fellas hatch by August.
I figure that even if they aren't successful in laying waste to our garden pests, they should at least make interesting new snacks for the chickens. I'll let y'all know how they work out - if they ever hatch.