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My battle with leek moth goes on...


I am thinking of opening my garden as a example of horticultural pests and diseases. Would you like to see Gooseberry Sawfly in action, see the effects of Pea and Bean Weevil or collect your own Lily beetle to take home?
Maybe not but the latest pest I’ve discovered this year is Leek Moth.
I’ve had trouble for the last 3 or 4 years. In fact, that is how I found this site. I was looking for something about Leek moth and I discovered the blog by Sid ‘Leek Moth and Allium leaf mining fly’. Have a look for more information.
What was news to me is the fact that they are active already. This is what I found at the weekend:

Larvae have obviously overwintered and have hatched out to eat my going to seed leeks. I’ve destroyed all these now and hoed over the soil. I’m also cross that I did not eat these last few sooner as I worked so hard to grow them last year.
This is what to look for in your leek plants. You get discoloured leaves and then the plant collapses. You will find a small green maggot/caterpiller in there somewhere.

This is the first thing to look for:

This is what the cocoon looks like:

I have to keep my leeks covered in fleece from the moment of sowing to harvest. I put it over a frame and peg it down. The wind got under it last year and some moths got in but I had quite a good crop. The first for 3 years. I squashed any caterpillars I found and pulled up some plants.
They have 2 breeding cycles during the summer so you are not safe until Autumn. I’ve never seen a moth so I don’t know what they look like.

I put this in to cheer us up after all it’s things like this that make it all worth while.

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enjoyed reading yr blg now i no what im looking 4 good pics hope things get beter

13 May, 2011


Thanks for the visual information, Marshmallow. We grow leeks every year and .... everything crossed! .... haven't yet had any problems, but now I know what to keep an eye out for! Thanks again for a very informative blog.

14 May, 2011


Thank you. I believe they are more prevalent in the south and the further north you are the safer. I hope yours are ok.

14 May, 2011


Saw fly they say wont go near Elderberry if its planted close by your gooseberries and I know that even hanging garlic and other plants close by will derter a lot of pests like marigolds too they do.

14 May, 2011


Thank you. I'm interested in companion planting and what people find works. So I'll give these a go. Yes, I grow marigolds and i have tagetes in my greenhouse and have no trouble with white fly. I'm going to try the garlic spray advocated by several growers.

15 May, 2011


Your welcome campanion growing does work also if you ever get mildew 1 part milk to 10 parts water and spray. If you can get a Comfrey plant pick leaves preferable before flowering, you can either leave it for a few weeks in your rain bucket 1 part to 10 water or just chop up and lay on top of ground around plant, it will then feed it, comfrey mends bones and does alsorts. It can be evasive I thought I d warn you and hard to get rid of so if you have got an allotment grow one in a large pot.

15 May, 2011


Yes I've got comfrey. It's quite well contained in a plot where not much else grows but can escape sometimes. Thanks for the tip about mildew. Another one to try.
I like your new picture!

15 May, 2011


Why thank you Marshmallow

15 May, 2011

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