Carrot Rust Fly Larva

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Hiker, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Hiker

    Hiker Member

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    Location:
    Prince George, B.C., Canada
    I have grown carrots for many years. For the past three years, my carrots have had small holes in them. I took some sample carrots to a local nursery and they identified the damage as being caused by the carrot rust fly larva. They recommended some actions I could take, which I tried last season but the carrots were still attacked. Here are the two recommended actions:

    1. Although I do not like to use pesticides, I tried applying "Sevin", several times during the growing season but that did not solve the problem.

    2. Alternately, I purchased a carrot seed variety called "Fly Away" marketed by Thompson and Morgan. This variety is supposed to be resistant to the rust fly larva but they were also attacked.

    Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
     
  2. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Carrot rust fly occurs in Calgary as well (though not further east in Saskatchewan where I grew up).
    We grew 'Fly Away' once also and found that they were infested by carrot rust fly (though maybe a little less than the usual carrot varieties), similar to what you experienced.
    What we did find to be effective was to use floating row cover (Reemay or whatever brands are around now), held up by supports (e.g. that ubiquitous wire flower bed fencing) to give the plants room to grow, and with all the edges securely fastened down (or held down by some soil piled on top).
     
  3. Hiker

    Hiker Member

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    Thanks for relating your experience with this. Did you find it difficult to cultivate and control weeds, when using this mechanical cover? I find it strange, that up until three years ago, I never had this problem. Do you still grow carrots? I am beginning to wonder if it is worth the trouble.
     
  4. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Location:
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    Just lift the floating row cover from time to time if weeding is needed.

    No, I'm not currently growing carrots... I need the room for perennials ;)
    (And I can buy much sweeter organic carrots at the farmer's market than I ever grew here anyway. You may want to read Elliot Coleman on soil conditions for producing sweet carrots.)
     
  5. Hiker

    Hiker Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will check the library for Elliot Coleman's book. The sweetest carrots I ever grew were when I lived on the western edge of Prince Albert National Park, about 90 miles NW of Prince Albert and 18 miles NE of Big River, near Nesslin Lake, in the late sixties and early seventies. Cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Nesslin Lake was great for swimming with its sandy beach. You mentioned that you also spent time in Saskatchewan.

    We have a large commercial vegetable grower in the Prince George area. I may check it out for my supply of carrots and switch to another crop, where I now grow my carrots.
     
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    I'm also giving up on carrots here, just south of Cloverdale which is a huge carrot growing area, and possibly a great carrot fly population centre. Years of growing maggoty carrots have not been a good use of my limited spare time!

    Last year I tried a new strategy, sowing a row of regular nantes in the centre of two Flyaway rows, hoping to lure the flies to this "trap" crop. The result was heavily infested Flyaway carrots surrounding a fairly clean crop of nantes...so the way to do this might be rows of (cheap) nantes carrots surrounding the flyaway ones...but I'm just going to skip the carrots now.

    The row covers do work, but problems include weed growth that goes on unwatched under the covers...you will know how hard it is to weed the carrots early on at the best of times...the covers make this unlikely in my garden until its rather too late! Then the covers impede the absorption of rain/sprinkling, esp as the crop matures and the plants lift up the covers to make a mounded form that sheds most of the water to the sides and the carrots suffer noticeably from drought.
     
  7. plantenthusiast

    plantenthusiast Active Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    This post may come a little late for some of you, but I thought I should share my experience with the carrot rust fly. We have previously grown our carrots under Reemay to control this, although have found that it can be difficult to keep tucked in completely.

    Recently we heard that the this fly is present only about 2 or so feet off the ground; it flies low. So we've grown carrots in a thick polyethylene enclosure with no top, about 3 feet high, and buried about half a foot into the ground. The plastic is stapled to wooden stakes which are driven into the ground. This has worked well for us, although I can't guarantee that it will be successful for everyone.

    Good luck with your carrots everyone!
     

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