You just can’t beat home grown carrots full of nutrients and flavour and they’re so much crunchier than supermarket ones.
However, the strong scent of carrots attracts the dreaded carrot root fly as many gardeners and allotment owners are only too aware. The female fly lays her eggs at soil level near the shoulder of the carrot and the larvae eat into the roots.
So how can you deter this pest from ruining your crop?
Here are our top tips
· Follow good crop rotation and grow carrots on a different site each year to avoid overwintering pupae.
· Don’t grow related plants like parsnips and celery near carrots as they also attract the pest
· Try and pick varieties that have been bred for their resistance to carrot root fly.
· After sowing cover with fleece to prevent females reaching your crop
· Sow carrots with companion plants like marigolds and garlic as they are strong smelling and will deter the flies.
· Grow carrots in narrow beds and surround with barriers of mesh netting.