VEGA News Item

The Carrot Fly - 11/06/2010

Pretty Deterrents to Fight Off an Ugly Threat

1.  The carrot fly has demolished the hopes of many gardeners and commercial growers.  The Guardian Weekend (05/06/10) offers useful advice for allotment holders and gardeners who face the challenges undaunted in a “green” manner to cope with infestations by the carrot fly.

2.  The fly is a small, shiny, black fly, almost invisible.  Infestation is followed by the appearance of its creamy maggot, which drills galleries into roots, making them inedible.  The foliage turns red and the plants start to grow very slowly when the cow parsley goes over (the fly’s spring haunt) the infestations start.

3.  The fly has an exceptional sense of smell and “can even find carrots when you are thinning seedlings, so thin in the evening or on dull days, and water immediately to disperse the odor of the leaves,” is the Guardian’s advice.

4.  The female “is not a great flier and keeps low to the ground when looking for an egg-laying site.  Keep her off with a barrier, as she seems never to think of flying up and over.  It should be at least 45cm high and partially buried.  Clear plastic fine mesh is effective, “as is growing carrots in long pots.”

5.  Aly Fowler, the Guardian Weekend’s gardener, recommends a prettier approach: “to grow carrots among annual flowers, such as cornflowers and corncockles, because the fly gets confused by similar foliage.  My favourite combination is love-in-the-mist, Nigella Damascena, and carrot seed.  Sow equal measures together, gently pressing the seed into the soil, then barely cover and water in well.”

6.  In Britain now carrots can be grown commercially all through the year.  They are valuable in many culinary functions and enjoyed by horses. Before offering them to horses, however, be sure to seek the owner’s permission and guidance first.  We keep adding recipes and menus to the Portfolio of Eating Plans intended for consumers who take seriously and put into effect the salutary adjustments recommended by the world’s experts, particularly as they apply to the UK and Northern Europe and to North America.



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