Tackle pow­dery mildew

Gardeners' World - - Contents - Emma Craw­forth, Gar­den­ing Edi­tor Edited by Emma Craw­forth

Car­rot root fly

Are there rusty brown scars on your car­rots and lit­tle tun­nels min­ing the cen­tre? If so, root flies ( Psila rosae) have been at work. Low-fly­ing fe­males smelled your de­vel­op­ing crop and touched down to lay their eggs in the soil nearby. About a week later, cream­coloured mag­gots hatched, fed on the car­rots then pu­pated in the soil. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can pre­vent at­tacks next year. Har­vest the crop as soon as it’s ready – a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of larvae hatches this month and you don’t want to leave car­rots in the ground to feed them. Re­move all old car­rot de­bris and ded­i­cate the patch of land to a dif­fer­ent crop next year. Next year, sow on a dif­fer­ent spot and erect a fleece bar­rier against the flies. This can be open-topped as long as it’s at least 60cm high, partly em­bed­ded in the soil with no gaps. Some ad­vo­cate a com­plete cov­er­ing, but this makes gar­den­ing be­neath it tricky. Bio-con­trol ne­ma­todes are also avail­able to at­tack them. At the time of writ­ing I’m await­ing new RHS re­search on this sub­ject…

TOP TIP Root flies also at­tack the rel­a­tives of car­rots, so don’t grow parsnips, pars­ley and cel­ery where they’ve been.

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