6 messages
01/06/2012 at 10:27

Hi

New to this site and gardening. We've just started a vegetable patch and were quite excited about this. We moved into a new build house so when we removed the turf the builders put down we found we had terrible soil and were convinved nothing would grow. It's full of stones (mostly limestone from the builders) and is a heavy clay soil. To improve the soil quality in the beds we were advised to use an organic farmyard muck first and dig this in well, which we did. Then we had some rich organic compost for the top which we covered the surface with.

Into this which looked good we then planted on one side; radish, little gem, courgette and i bought a butternut squash plant in the garden centre. All was going well for about 3 weeks. Then i started to notice the radish dying. Last night i also noticed one of the seedlings for the courgette had died, i pulled at the seeding to remove it and lots of maggots came out. I then checked the radish and the same thing appears to have happend. The stem and roots of the butternut squash had also died and were covered in maggots.

 

What have we done wrong? Has the smell of the muck attracted flies which have laid eggs, which is what i presume. But how do i now get rid of the eggs which i presume are in the soil. Also is it just a matter of time before my little gems are attacked.

Final question, my second bed, which is separated by a sleeper seems fine, but am i just kidding myself and will my tomatoes soon die as well.

Can you offer me some practical advice on how to deal with this issue...

01/06/2012 at 10:37
This sounds like it might be vine weevil grubs which are nasty little b******s. Are the maggots creamy White with dark heads and c- shaped? You haven't done anything wrong I'm sure, but dealing with this sort of infestation on a veg patch is tricky. There are things called nematodes which little critters that attack the grubs, you buy packets of them, pop them in a watering can and apply to the area. Soil has to be a certain temp. The chemical solution - Provado - is used in pots and isn't suitable for food crops. Suggest you google vine weevil for ID, then wait for more experienced posters to respond.
01/06/2012 at 11:00

Thanks figrat, they were creamy white, no dark head.  I was reading on the internet about nematodes, any idea where i can buy them?

01/06/2012 at 11:13

They may not be vine weevil grubs-take a photo and someone will identify them for you

When did you add the add the manure etc-was it well rotted or fresh?-did it smell,full of flies?

01/06/2012 at 11:34

The manure was well rotted - bought in bags from a garden centre, it did smell really bad but i presumed it would because of what it it, it didn't have any flies

01/06/2012 at 11:48

If it is the dreaded Vine Weevil grub they are usualy creamy white with in a 'c' shape , half inch long plumpish / well filled out. They are orange/brown at one end.

They only attack the roots , as far as I know   .Sometimes the first sign is yellowing leaves.

This is what I do for shrubs and plants- I dig them up and wash the roots in soapy   water. I then replant in a pot . I then give them a good watering of the Vine Weevil solution . but I dont know if it is safe to use on veg. A garden center will advise. Buying the nematodes could be expensive specialy if they are not the vine weevil. Can you put a picture on here or failing that take some into a garden center. It is true the menure needs to be old and well rotted / have no smell .

I have a suggestion to make, some people grow in pots to eradicate the problem - but youd still need to keep check , a friend of mine grows in old tyres his carrots , he stacks 3 together , uses new bags of compost . growing carrots this way keeps away the carrot fly.   your radish could be grown in a pot, and if your butternut squash is a bush type you would be alright in a largish pot. until you get your garden sorted out for next year growing veg in pots is an alternative - admitted not quite the same but at kleast you have a taste of your freshly growm veg!

If it turns out to be a fly infestation from the menuer then this can be treated with sprays again ask at a garden center. At least you have time to work on your soil to get it right for next year .

Let us know how you get on . take care.

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