If the carrots have holes: fight carrot flies

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The carrot fly (Chamaepsila rosae) is one of the most persistent pests in the vegetable garden and can damage almost the entire carrot harvest. The small, brownish feeding passages run just below the surface of the carrots and, depending on the time of harvesting, the carrot fly's storage tissue often still contains the white larvae of the carrot fly, which are up to eight millimeters long. In heavy infestation, the carrot is criss-crossed by several feeders and the leaves begin to wither.

Life cycle of the carrot fly

After hibernation as a doll in the ground, the first carrot flies appear in May. These are the size of a housefly, but are much darker colored. The females lay their up to 100 eggs in the middle of June preferably in the afternoon in fine tears in the vicinity of the carrot roots. The young, legless and white-colored larvae (maggots) eat at the beginning of their development of the fine hair roots of the beets. As they age, they later invade the lower half of the carrot body. After a feeding period of several weeks, the slender larvae grown to a centimeter in length leave the carrots again and pupate in the soil. The next generation of carrot flies usually hatches from the beginning of August. Depending on the weather, two to three generation cycles can be run through each year.

Life cycle carrot fly

Life cycle of the carrot fly: The female flies lay eggs in the soil, from which the larvae develop. They feed exclusively on the root tissue of the carrots and leave the beets later to pupate in the soil

How to prevent an infestation

For the carrot bed, choose an open, windy spot in the vegetable garden and cultivate the carrots as a mixed culture with onions or leeks. It is important that the rows of carrots are not too close to each other, as otherwise the entire stock is easily attacked. In addition, onions and leeks have the reputation of selling the carrot fly with their scents. In addition, work the soil of an infested carrot bed thoroughly with a cultivator after harvest to bring the carrot fly pupae to the surface and disrupt their development. In addition, you should change the acreage each year.

Vegetable protection net in the carrot bed

Close-meshed vegetable nets reliably protect against the carrot fly

The safest protection for newly sown carrots is a dense vegetable protection net with a maximum mesh size of 1.6 millimeters. It will be laid over the carrot bed like a foil tunnel at the beginning of May using spring steel supports and sealed thoroughly on all sides. The carrots are also well supplied with air, light and water under the net, so that you can leave it on the bed throughout the cultivation period and only have to lose weight again when harvesting.

Some hobby gardeners have also had good experiences with the "Bio Streumittel für Gemüse" from the company Schacht. It is a plant tonic that contains a special blend of herbs, fossil red algae and carbonate of lime. Sprinkle it directly into the seed rows when sowing the carrots.

Tough carrots

Early, fast-growing varieties of carrots such as 'ingot', which are sown as early as possible and are ready for harvest at the beginning of June, usually remain free of attack, since the larvae of the first generation usually do not eat into the beets before mid-June. In addition, there is also a later, resistant variety with 'Flyaway'.

Video Board: How Do You Stop Carrot Fly?.

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