Nothing beats the taste of a freshly pulled carrot, and nothing is more disappointing than pulling a carrot only to find it is riddled with the tracks of the carrot fly. So to help combat this threat I bring you companion planting carrots.
Companion Planting Carrots
Carrots come in many different shapes and colours. The one constant however is the aroma. They all smell the same and as such they all need disguising. That’s where the companion planting comes in. For more information on growing carrots click the link.
Carrot Fly Know Your Enemy
The carrot fly lays its eggs in the soil around carrot plants and when hatched the grubs burrow into the carrot roots. Signs of carrot fly are:-
- Bronzed Foilage
- Wilting and dead seedlings
- Weakened Plants
Sadly once signs are visible it’s too late. Prevention is definitely better than trying to affect a cure. Carrot flies identify carrots by smell so avoid lifting or thinning on still, wind free days. Also surround your carrots with as many strong smelling plants as possible.
What Herbs to Plant with Carrots?
Grow strongly aromatic herbs to disguise the smell of carrots, herbs like :-
What Vegetables to Plant with Carrots?
Grow strong smelling vegetables to disguise the carrots things like:-
Other plants that can be grown amongst carrots include Tomatoes and Lettuce especially the leafy varieties.
Amaranth and Sweetcorn break up the soil making it easier for the roots to form however they also grow so large as to block sunlight. So the choice is yours.
The heritage vegetable Scorzonera a type of salsify can be planted around your carrots to create a protective wall which will send the carrot fly away confused.
What Shouldn’t Be Grown with Carrots?
Plants that should not be grown with carrots include:-
- Cow Parsley
These are all in the same family as carrots (umbellifers) and so all attract the carrot fly.
Other Effective Methods of Protection
The most effective way of protecting carrots is to set up a barrier so that the carrot fly cannot lay it’s eggs around your carrots. There are many ways to achieve this including containing your carrots inside a 2 foot high screen. The best material for this is a fine mesh (like net curtains).
Growing your carrots in a raised bed that is over 2 foot above the ground as the carrot fly cannot fly higher than 2 foot.
I find covering the carrots in a row cover with fine mesh and burying the edges under the soil is the most effective defence against carrot fly.