|What is the best way to control aphids and other critters like ear wigs on my artichokes?|
|I think of the two, aphids are the worst! They hide on the underside of the foliage and sometimes completely cover the newly forming flower heads! You can hose your plants off frequently to dislodge aphids, or spray your artichokes with insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is derived from plants and is relatively harmless to all but soft-bodied insects such as aphids. As for the earwigs, they usually don't do a lot of damage to plants, but they often hide in dark places such as where the leaves join the stem. You can trap earwigs and remove them from you garden. It takes some time and effort, but it can be done. Use a few sheets of newspaper or paper towels, moisten them so they're just damp, then roll them up into a tube. Set several of these traps in your garden at dusk. In the morning, pick them up (they should be filled with earwigs so be careful!), fold them up and put them in your trash or garbage can. I put mine into plastic bags and seal them up before placing in the trash can. Repeat as often as necessary. Eventually your traps will yield no more earwigs.
Best wishes with your artichokes!