Question of the Week - How Long Do I Leave Fleece On?
Q: My carrots have been covered with fleece since sowing. How long do I need to leave it in place to protect them from carrot fly? Bob McGregor, Bath
A: Your carrots need protection for the whole of their growing period, Bob. Although the risk of carrot fly attack diminishes for part of summer, there are several hatches between late spring and autumn, so your crop could be attacked at any time during that period. Fleece does reduce, very slightly, the amount of the light reaching the plants but that should not reduce the yield and could enhance the quality of the carrots. A good alternative is fine but heavy duty mesh material which is ultraviolet resistant and long-lasting. Initial price can be high - starting at around £2.50 for 1m by 2m (3ft by 6ft) - but it lasts for several seasons. This mesh would also protect brassicas from caterpillar attack and is, of course, birdproof. A few metres of it would be a wise investment for anyone who grows food."
'Your Questions' - Nigel Colborn, Garden News,