foliage on my carrots is being eaten. I have them planted in an
old water tank, which does not get at lot of sunshine. Could this
be a reason they're being attacked?
rust fly could be the problem. The adult fly lays its eggs close
to the young carrots and, on hatching, the larvae tunnel into the
root, often causing the leaves to turn yellow and die off. The problem
tends to be worse in carrots growing in shady, sheltered conditions
and is difficult to control.
Don't plant carrots
or related vegetables, like parsnips, celery and parsley, in that
area again. Only grow them in an open, well-lit spot elsewhere in
the garden. Leeks, onions and rosemary are said to have a repelling
effect on carrot rust fly, so next time you sow carrots you could
try intermingling them with onions or leeks. Finely woven netting
laid over seedling carrots can also be helpful at preventing the
adult fly from laying its eggs. The smell of fresh lawn clippings
sprinkled along the rows close to the young carrots is also reported
to disguise the smell of carrots and so prevent the adult fly laying
As a last resort you
could apply Diazinon granules to the soil when you sow the carrot
seeds, follow the label recommendations.
Gardener, Issue 198, 2006, Page 22
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.