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Terry Brown2

I have been growing vegies on an allotment for 2 years. the plot historically is infested with carrot fly. My parsnips resemble carrots with carrotfly damage.

How can I deal with carrot fly? can carrotfly infest parsnips? If not carrotfly, what could cause parsnip problem?


Hi Terry, yes carrot fly does indeed affect parsnips in exactly the same way - these two veg are closely related.  The most effective protection is to grow them under fleece.  Other possibilities are to surround them by a barrier at least 18 inches tall (carrot fly are believed to not fly above this height) or to grow a row of 'sacrificial' carrots and hope the fly prefers them to the parsnips.


I think that if the parsnips are growing stubby and bent, then it's more likely the ground they're being grown in that's causing the problem. Is your soil stoney??

My parsnips have a great size on them but when I lift them they are not really very good, in so much I have about 3inches of parsnip then about 12 little legs coming from the parsnip so therefore my parsnip is quite small , why is that ? 


Lesley, sounds like they've forked. Either they've hit something hard in the soil or the soil had been over-fertilised.

I'm with Emma on the stubby, bent parsnips. There might well be carrot fly damage but the description also sounds like a soil problem could be involved.



Or, did you sow the seed direct or try transplanting the seedlings? Damage the tiny tap root when they are moved and you get that problem.

Get a long metal rod, put it in your soil, to a depth of about 18 inches, Move it around in a circular motion making a cone shaped hole in the ground. Fill that with sifted soil and sow the parsnip on top.

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