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Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids. Toplef10Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids. 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids. I22gcj10Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids. 14dhcg10

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Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids.

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Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids. Empty Browning Leaves after using dish soap/ vinegar spray for aphids.

Post  CAM1183 4/27/2021, 11:13 am

I have aphids all over my tomato plants Sad. I read that 3 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap sprayed onto leaves and underside of leaves would help.  I soaked the leaves.  My plants looked terrible by the following day.  Today, I showered each plant with plain water to rinse off the mixture.  Any advice?  Have a ruined all my tomato plants?  Should I buy new ones and start over? It's only April.  Thanks!
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Location : AL zone 8

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Post  markqz 4/27/2021, 11:46 am

Oh, that is sad Sad

If it's any consolation, if you had aphids all over, and they were forming colonies, then it might not be your mixture that did the damage -- they may have already infected your plants.

That said, it's usually recommended to use insecticidal soap because detergent apparently is too harsh for some plants. Though I wouldn't think a teaspoon would matter that much.

Some photos might help the experts here gauge your situation.
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Post  FRED58 4/27/2021, 5:06 pm

FWIW, in an attempt to be more organic, I now only use two chemicals on my gardens. (I am abandoning miracle grow)

The first is propane: I use a weed burner in the gravel pathways and concrete, asphalt and stone covered areas.

The second is a mix of pickling vinegar, a pinch of salt and a few drops of dishsoap as a weedkiller (not an insecticide). It works great on newly-emerged seedlings of almost everything (like clover where you don't want it). I also use it after hoeing when the weeds try to grow back from the root (mixed success). Incecticidal soap works well without the vinegar.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/27/2021, 5:53 pm

@CAM1183 wrote:I have aphids all over my tomato plants Sad. I read that 3 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap sprayed onto leaves and underside of leaves would help.  I soaked the leaves.  My plants looked terrible by the following day.  Today, I showered each plant with plain water to rinse off the mixture.  Any advice?  Have a ruined all my tomato plants?  Should I buy new ones and start over? It's only April.  Thanks!

Vinegar is a very good weed killer, but not good for insect control. The acetic acid of vinegar dissolves the cell membranes resulting in desiccation of tissues and death of the plant.  Your plants may sprout new leaves and recover from the spray, only time will tell.


A much better control for aphids is neem oil and soap (not detergent). Mix 1 tablespoonful of pure neem oil and 1 teaspoonful of soap (such as Castile) in 1 gallon of water. Shake until the oil is emulsified in the soap water, then spray the leaves top and bottom.

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Post  jimmy cee 4/27/2021, 10:54 pm

It is best to consider what one is doing to harm microbes in a living soil food web such as Mel's Mix. Salt sucks moisture out of many beneficial microbes.
Vinegar, will change PH drastically. weeds should not be an issue in a Mel's Mix bed. If they are, can be removed very easily. I welcome weeds in my beds. Having weeds allows me to work in my beds.
While at it, A mixture of properly made compost tea is a great pesticide barrier in plants. Bacteria take up residence on leaves, not allowing space for others. Compost tea also has an immediate affect on plants my supplying nutrients as soon as sprayed..
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Post  jimmy cee 4/27/2021, 10:59 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@CAM1183 wrote:I have aphids all over my tomato plants Sad. I read that 3 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap sprayed onto leaves and underside of leaves would help.  I soaked the leaves.  My plants looked terrible by the following day.  Today, I showered each plant with plain water to rinse off the mixture.  Any advice?  Have a ruined all my tomato plants?  Should I buy new ones and start over? It's only April.  Thanks!
Tomato plants should not be planted until soil temperature is maintained at upper 60s and lower 70s throughout the day and even into the night. Cool temperature halt growing process which is detrimental to quality of finished product...
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