February 15th, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

Carrot Fly

After much debate, and a gap of two years, we've decided to give carrots another try.

And take on our nemesis - the carrot fly. (pause for large intakes of air, and much crossing, from assembled gardeners everywhere)

The carrot fly, for those not in the know, is evil. Like a demonic wine taster it flits from carrot to carrot sampling and nibbling. We could cope with the losses if it just concentrated on a few carrots and ate those, but taking chunks out every carrot is not on - you can't store a damaged carrot.

And to make things worse the carrot fly has super powers. And an enormous nose. It can smell a carrot from two miles away. So, counter measure number one is to plant carrots near onions. We have tried this but to no great success. So this year we going to try it in combination with counter measure number two - a wall.

It's said - by experts and they should know - that the carrot fly can only fly a few inches above the ground - presumably because of the weight of its giant nose. So, if you ring your carrot bed with a small wall - say, by pushing slates into the soil - the carrot fly will be stopped. I can't remember the exact logic behind this. As I see it there are two possibilities:

One, the fly, weighed down by its enormous nose, has its eyes fixed mostly on the ground - very handy when looking for carrots, but crap when avoiding flying into walls. Result - pile of comatose carrot flies at the base of the slate wall.

Two, the fly, despite its enormous nose, is fast. It sees the approaching wall of slate and rises to avoid it. Its momentum then carries it up and over the carrot bed and, by the time it's back to a few inches above the soil again, the carrot bed is long gone.

I prefer the first possibility.