Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

HOW to tackle goose­berry sawfly If you see small S-shaped grubs de­vour­ing the leaves of your goose­berry bushes, the chance is they are the cater­pil­lar­like lar­vae of one of three species of goose­berry sawfly.

De­pend­ing on which type it is, the grubs will either be pale green with black spots and black heads or just with pale green heads. The com­mon goose­berry sawfly can have three gen­er­a­tions a year, with lar­vae ac­tive in late April to June, July, and Au­gust to Septem­ber.

Fe­male sawflies lay their eggs on the un­der­side of leaves low down in the mid­dle of the bush and the young lar­vae eat their way up­wards. Their dam­age will re­sult in se­verely de­fo­li­ated plants, which may not crop well the next year. If you see them, you can either pick them off by hand or snip off the leaves they are in­vad­ing.

Al­ter­na­tively, use a bi­o­log­i­cal con­trol (ne­ma­tode), sold as Fruit and Veg­etable Pro­tec­tion, which can be wa­tered on to in­fested plants.

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