So after battling the ants and aphids for the past 4 months, I’ve finally lost the battle. My poor little artichoke just can’t seem to fight them anymore. Despite laying down the Terro ant baits (which have helped), the ants are still crawling all over the artichoke day and night, bringing with them aphid eggs and facilitating the population explosion.
Once a plant has crossed a line, it’s hard to bring it back. I’m going to start over with a new artichoke and see what happens. This time I will be vigilant to make sure that it is better nurtured, spraying it with worm tea every week or so, fertilizing it once per month and checking it several days per week to make sure the ants haven’t moved in. I will also continue to set out the Terro baits to get the ant population under control.
Ants move in when a plant is in a weakened state. This artichoke has been in this pot for over a year and it was attacked by aphids last year – so I think it has been in a compromised state for a long time, making the battle with the ants and aphids more difficult. So I’m saying farewell to my little artichoke plant and sending it to the city compost bin. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck with the new artichoke. After all, it’s my two daughters’ favorite vegetable and at $3.00 – $4.00 per head, I’d rather grow my own guaranteed organic ones.