Taking pest control to a new level: carrots growing in a supermarket trolley
Avoid carrot fly: grow in a supermarket trolley!
Carrot fly is the bane of many a gardener. So why not put your produce beyond the reach of the pests?
I have tried unsuccessfully to grow carrots for many years. I have struggled with germination at 900 feet in Cumbria when the last frosts are often into June. I have also tried many approaches to trick the pesky carrot fly to no avail.
However, finding an abandoned shopping trolley got me thinking: knowing that carrot fly cannot fly higher than about two feet and a shopping trolley’s base is about that height, maybe it held the answer. I lined the sides with post-election campaign billboards and used a permeable lining taken from my children’s old sandpit for the bottom. I filled it with a mix of three parts sand to four parts compost to three parts garden soil. After sowing the seeds in the trolley I set them off to germinate in the greenhouse. The germination rate was fantastic compared to what I was used to. Once they were growing well I wheeled them out into the garden. The crop was amazing for such a small area, with plentiful thinnings and then large carrots, often up to eight ounces each, with no sign of carrot fly.
We enjoyed a very dry couple of months at the beginning of summer followed by the usual Cumbrian monsoon after mid-July. I feel this method of growing is very suited to our northern British climate and is definitely one I shall be using again.
Next year I shall be experimenting with different soil/sand mixes. My only disappointment in this year’s plan was not being able to wheel it around to my neighbour’s to water when I went on holiday as it was so heavy! Maybe I should try replacing the wheels with larger ones...