The Great Algae Fly Experiment
What does one do on a wet Saturday afternoon? Well, if you are me, then you sit smearing golden syrup on bits of cardboard. Why was I doing that? – I hear you cry…..
Well, recently I’ve had a problem with little white worms or grubs attacking my seedlings in the greenhouse. I posted a question on GoY and Owdboggy very kindly identified the critters as the larva of Algae Flys. Algae flys are those tiny little flys that live on the surface of compost in pots. They are completely harmless in themselves, but they lay their eggs on the surface of the compost and the larve hatch out and eat the green algae which grows there in moist humid conditions. All well and good, but they are also partial to the root hairs of seedlings :-(
This photo shows Aquilegia seedlings that have been damaged by them.
I have also lost a lot of my Echinacea seedlings (4 remain out of the 12 seeds I sowed).
So, I had a bit of a surf and found the following organic remedies:-
1. Allow the soil surface to dry out as the grubs are susceptable to desication.
2. Have little pots of cidar vinigar, which the flys drop into and drown.
3. Use sticky yellow cards, which the flys are attracted to and get stuck to.
I gathered together a few materials! Didn’t quite know whether vasaline or golden syrup would be best, so used both to compair in the name of science!
And I stuck them in the greenhouse.
QUIZ TIME – would anyone like to have a guess at how many flies I catch? :-)
- 20 Apr, 2008
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