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Kamikaze Carrot Flies or Carrots Fly Compost ?


 
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Lius
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Joined: 12 Mar 2009
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Location: Ballinteer, Dublin

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Kamikaze Carrot Flies or Carrots Fly Compost ? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have have a persistent problems with carrot fly.

I have tried early crops, resistant varieties, fine netting and surrounded the carrot bed with onions and garlic. One year I did all of these together and still had 50% of my carrot crop ruined by the buggers.

It just occurred to me that as we compost all of our kitchen vegetable peelings (and we eat tons of carrots) that the carrot flies may be breeding / living in my compost year round and then I may be fertilising with carrot fly infested compost.

I can't find anything definitive when I Archie the ARCnet, have any of you any knowledge / experience / opinions on carrot fly living in compost?
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Greengage
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Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been planting Flyaway which is resistant to carrot fly and planting myseed a lot later towards the end of may. Plant thinly toavoid thinning as the smell attracts them also use raised beds as they fly low to the ground, Sow seed under plastic and when they germinate remove plastic and Get very fine netting always keep covered and water regularly make sure you have a fine tilth to a good depth as carrots will fork early especially when they hit an obstruction e.g small stone. I uusually make a deep hole with end of spade approx 1ft fill this with a mixture of seed and poting compost and fine sand then sow three seed per hole, when they germinate remove the weaker ones and DO NOT LEAVE LYING AROUND. You can not do this on a large scale but for a few carrots and the joy of eating your own produce its worth it. You could also plant the carrotts in a large tub 10ltr and keep on a shelf away from the garden.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how big a crop you try to grow but I have the luxury of only having two mouths to feed, so what I suggest may not be relevant to you. Plus, I'm also a carrot failure and decided to abandon the idea several years ago. Anyway ...

For several types of vulnerable seedlings they can be protected by cutting the bottoms off clear plastic bottles (of the required size, of course) and placing them over the seedling as a sort of cloche. We've mentioned this before and it can be helpful in protection from wind, slugs and, indeed, battering with hosepipes when watering. The crux of the whole thing, though, is how many carrots you intend to grow, and therefore how many bottles you'll need for the job. 2 litre ones should give enough space for a carrot's top to grow.

Your other respondent above suggests dibbing individual holes, back filling them with friable soil to avoid forking, and then planting two or three seeds per hole before covering them over. I use this method for parsnips and it works well for me in avoiding the need for thinning but, for carrots - and I've not tried this - it would enable you to place your bottles over them from the start.

Another start point you might wish to try is the old method of planting carrot seed in lengths of guttering. The theory for this is that they can be brought on under glass before sliding the contents of each length of guttering straight into a pre-prepared drill. If you go for bottles, this could enable you to sow ultra-thinly in the first place so that individual seedlings could be transplanted from the guttering at appropriate intervals before 'bottling'.

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Lius
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Location: Ballinteer, Dublin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage,

Thanks, but I have tried all those well known measures as I said in my posting.

My question is:- has anyone heard anything regarding using compost, which has a high percentage of carrot-peelings, harbouring a carrot fly colony year round? If so could I be applying compost which contains the larvae onto my carrot beds?

I cannot find anything specific to this aspect of carrot fly on the ARPANET.

I think I may have to go deeper into the Entomology myself.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/lifesci/wcc/research/researchstories/carrotfly/
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lius wrote:
Greengage,My question is:- has anyone heard anything regarding using compost, which has a high percentage of carrot-peelings, harbouring a carrot fly colony year round? If so could I be applying compost which contains the larvae onto my carrot beds?

It seems to me the answer is NOT to use your homemade compost on your veg bed.

I save my compost for the borders and more robust fruit bushes/trees. My problem with homemade compost was with tiny potatoes and potato peelings both of which survived the composting and started to grow among the seedling plants.

I grow my carrots between rows of beetroot and fennel, in raised beds. I did have problems with root fly but (touch wood) not anymore.

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