Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vacuuming the Garden - Experiment Results

Purple climbing beans
Well for two whole days I got up early in the morning and vacuumed the white flies on my parsley and bean patch near the back door in my dressing gown. (See this post if you're completely bamboozled as to why I would do such a thing). And on day three there was a cracker of a thunderstorm which I was so pleased about as I didn't have to do the vacuuming. Day four was going to be a stinky hot day. Of course it wasn't stinky hot at 7am but I decided that as it was going to be stinky hot later on I might just conserve my energy and give the outdoor housework a miss. On day five I'd run out of excuses... except that I was so exhausted from the stinky hot day I really, really did not want to go vacuum the garden. And that has how I have felt on every other day since.

So - the results of this scientific experiment to reduce the white fly population from the veggies via the vacuum? Vacuuming has absolutely no impact.

Hmmm. You did know I was a lazy gardener didn't you?

I was, dear reader, thinking of you for most of my experiment week whilst in the garden. I was thinking that it would be a bloody pain in the backside if I discovered that vacuuming made a big difference because then I'd have to be vacuuming for hours trying to eliminate them from all the problem patches in my backyard. And I was thinking of that pesky Mark who put a spanner in my works by pointing out that maybe those flies would fly straight out of my cleaner inside and then they'd invade my indoor plants too. So I did a bit of a google and apparently you're supposed to put the vacuum bag into the freezer and then in the bin. But I don't have a vacuum bag - we have a fancy schmancy cleaner with no bag but good suction. Luckily Fiona suggested putting a stocking over the end of the nozzle. Which is what I did. And I am pleased to report I have no white fly on my indoor plants. Yet. And I was also thinking about how disappointed you'd be with me if I couldn't provide any proper results to this white fly experiment... but I'm pretty good with guilt (I did grow up Catholic after all) and your disappointment wasn't enough incentive to keep me vacuuming.

So now I will shut my mouth and just bite my tongue when those swarms of flies flap about in my face. And maybe I'll try the neem oil.


  1. Whats wrong with derris powder? Now what does your goat man/neighbour suggest for those pesty little ones, hope he didn't catch you out in the morning in your pj's or the word may be around the neighborhood!!

  2. Oh well I am glad you did the experiment so that we didn't have to....! I have also been hearing more and more about neem, so I leave it up to you to do the tests and post about the results.

  3. I'm secretly glad the vacuuming didn't work. I hate vacuuming and it's bad enough having to do it indide the house.
    Good luck with the white fly.

  4. Ha ha! Did you REALLY vacuum your garden?! I suppose it's a great idea in theory!

  5. I'm with Missy. If it had worked I would have felt obliged to go out and buy a hand held vaccuum thus extended my carbon footprint. Well either that or using my normal vacuum outside which, as it sounds very similar to yours would have been far to tedious for words....Cool experiment though...

  6. You really will stop at nothing! Surely someone will soon invent something that kills whitefly without excessive environmental impact... A plant that they like eating but which poisons them, maybe?

  7. Basil can help deter white fly. Maybe interplant a whackload of basil!


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