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regional pest problem: cabbage root maggot

 
Posts: 175
Location: Philomath, OR
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Anyone have any experience keep these guys in check? I just lost seven kale plants to them and don't want to lose more, especially since my garden is brassica heavy right now.

I know Steve Solomon recommends putting saw dust around the base of transplants. And there's always row cover (which I can't afford). Any other tips?

Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 476
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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From what I've heard, putting a 6"x6" barrier like a piece of old carpet, or rubber mat (or even cardboard, I'm sure) snugly around the base of each plant as you put them in the ground supposedly stops the flies laying their eggs close enough for the maggots to reach the roots. I've tried it, but I don't actually know if it worked or not: my cabbages were fine, but then, I've only ever had attacks on my turnips (which were just too labor intensive to put a barrier on each). Good luck.
 
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Ditto. I have heard of similarly using scraps of tar paper to keep the flies from laying eggs near the base. I've also never had an opportunity to test.
 
steward
Posts: 3484
Location: woodland, washington
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never had a problem with them. don't know if we're doing something right, or we're just lucky. might be worth mixing a lot of other plants in with your brassicas.
 
pollinator
Posts: 439
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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I've heard the suggestion for row covering for the first 6-8 weeks of growth. I get these on almost everything, but seldom enough to kill a plant, just mangle it and slow it down. It makes my radish bulbs mostly useless, turnips usually about 1/3 useless. But my radish still grows huge with some great greens, and I still have 2/3 of the turnip to eat...
I will try to get to a planting with a cover this year and see how it goes..

 
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