Monday, 15 October 2012

Are Carrots worth the Hassle??

Although I have only had the allotment for 2 seasons now, I have always grown carrots at home in tubs or in my old veg bed.

Each year the same results carrot fly get to them in some way shape of from. Last year the crop was ok I would say 60% of my crop had carrot fly larvae damage the rest were ok, this year however nearly the whole crop has been affected. It’s really frustrating because you can’t get that home-grown carrot taste anywhere and to me that’s the main reason why I grow them. My plan this year was to protect them from the off, I had fleece to help stop the carrot fly I companion planted with parsley and marigolds, I even tried to sow some really early before the carrot fly shows up but all to no avail. Even when I grow them in tubs that are 2ft above the ground I still get carrot fly.

It would be interesting to find out what everyone out there thinks what lengths do you go to, to get that perfect carrot? Or are you like me and think are they really worth it?

Next year I am going to try them in some really large pots that are 4ft off the floor and if that don’t work then I may give up on them for a few years…  


  1. Hi Stacy. This is curious. What sort of fleece are you using and does it have ANY holes in it. Since using fine mesh nylon thrip netting I have had no problem with carrot root fly - even at the allotment. It's still a problem getting the seeds to germinate (possibly slugs?) but those that do are not affected by root fly. I try to "grow what we eat" and good carrots, as you point out cannot be beaten. I just can't grow enough. No really: I CAN'T grow enough - germination is pathetic!

  2. Definately worth sticking it out
    Left a comment on UK Veg

  3. I love the taste of home grown carrots. They get root fly damage in the ground, but the ones I grow in containers are unaffected. The problem I had this year was that they just didn't want to grow. The germination was terrible at first, then when they did eventually germinate, they hardly grew.

  4. Hello there!

    I would try sowing 'Autumn King' - large carrots that store well and you plant them later, so shouldn't be affected by Carrot fly. I also plant Chantenay mini carrots in a large pot every year and they never seem to get CRF either. I agree about mesh - try enviromesh I think it's called. Cover the area as soon as the leaves appear and don't lift it again until you harvest! lol!

    Good luck!

  5. Carrots are normally the star of the show on my plot and my little one loves pulling them up. We grow ours in tyre stacks - 3 car tyres high (the downside is that they take quite a lot of compost to fill - but at that height I've never had problems with carrot fly). As the sapce in tyres is limited, we have quite a few stacks, but they all produce lovely carrots.

  6. Like Mal I can't understand how you have got so much carrot fly when you have used fleece. We use enviromesh and get really good protection. Did you take the fleece off to weed or anything and maybe the flies got in that way? We try and only remove the covering if absolutely necessary and then we don't remove completely - I uncover a bit of the side and stick my head under to weed. Another thing about fleece is that it is so easily damaged in windy or if someone has a bonfire and the ash falls on it.

    Are they worth it? - absolutely - can't beat the taste of home grown carrots.

  7. Hi everyone thanks for all the advice, I did remove fleace to weed so maybe that's where the problem is. I try not to use chemicals and such like, I will look onto getting some better protection for next year. I am thinking of making a frame for the bed. Watch this space.

    1. We make a frame for ours Stacy. I've written about how we grow our carrots on my website this page I also posted on my blog on June 15 this year about the same thing. No doubt you have your own ideas but you may be interested in what works for us.

  8. Keep going, environmesh works well and you can't beat newly dug carrots that have not been sprayed to within an inch of their lives.