How To Control The Cabbage Root Fly
The Cabbage Root Fly
The cabbage root fly can devastate your brassicas if you don’t take action, this pest is probably the worst nightmare you going to come across and as there is no direct pinpoint insecticide available to the home grower therefore you going to need other options. Now that statement does sound like its not worth growing them, look if you grow 50 cabbages for example you my loose 20 of them so its not the end of the world but if you want to try and get the 50 you will need to carry on reading.
The Tell Tale Signs
The leaves will start to wilt and the plant will even start to lean over, you can carefully dig down the stem of your plant and look for very small white maggots, if you spot any pull the plant out and burn it, sorry but there is no other option, so when you have stopped crying remove all the maggots from the soil and re plant, i always keep some extra plants just incase and I also grow them in batches, what i mean by that is plant new plants every 3 to 4 weeks this gives me a continued supply and yes some do get attacked but not many.
The Life Of The Cabbage Root Fly
The most active time of the year is April through to September which is bang in your growing season, there are 2 generations of the bug within this time the first (April to May) as the weather gets better the first generation will hatch and go looking for somewhere to lay there eggs and this will be your new plants, the eggs hatch and the maggot crawl down the stem of the plant and start to munch on the roots, once these maggots are at adult stage 3 to 4 weeks they will turn into a brown pupa, this then hatches and off the fly goes again in mid summer looking for somewhere to lay there eggs, at this stage the maggot will again munch on your roots until it reachers the pupa stage and will stay there until next spring and the cycle starts all over again.
What Can I Do
- Plant collars
- Crop Rotation
- Neem Oil
Cabbage plant collars can be very effective and can be easily made yourself using various materials you have lying around, the idea is the prevent the maggot crawling down the stem of the plant looking for its lunch, cut asquare out of fleece, tin foil or anything that doesn’t rot down quickly and place around the stem of the plant, I have had great success with this method, by the way you can buy the stem covers if you wish.
Covering the plants from day 1 with netting is another good option, your going to need insect proof mesh which you can buy, either construct a small tunnel or one large so you can get inside either way this will keep the flies at bay, read crop rotation.
Once you understand the life or the cabbage root fly, you can then see the importance of crop rotation, on year 2 don’t grow your brassicas on the game ground because you may have sleeping grubs in yo
No this is not a creature from mars these nematodes are 100% safe, they are creatures bread specially to hunt down the pests you want to eliminate for example the cabbage maggot will be hunted down and killed by these specially bread creatures sorry but thats life, these can be bought on line from specialist retailers and are proven to work i have use these my self to control red spider.
Neem oil is a natural plant extract that is used as an insecticide spray, use once a week, mix with warm water and snow flakes or any natural soap product and you will find the insects hate it, i have been using this for a few years and its getting very popular, i have proved it works by not spraying six plants and guess what those six cabbage plants all got eaten by cabbage root fly and the six i used neem oil on I only lost one so its definitely worth a go, you can get in online or your local chemist, one other point it also has lots of health benefits as well so i am told.
Theres plenty of options to keep this pest under control, i will admit to using a mixture of all of them and do get great results, also remember cabbage root fly do have natural enemies within your garden so try not to use chemicals, good luck…..