Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma

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John Martin

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Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« on: November 22, 2021, 11:34 »
Morning All,

I live in the SE Midlands and grow everything we need to a point of self sufficiency. I religiously practice crop rotation but this year, for the first time ever, I have suffered the above as have my local vegetable growing friends.
Having tried to locate a suitable solution, organic or otherwise, it seems there isn't one except covering the plot in both spring and autumn.
Has anyone suffered from this problem, what was your solution or should I feel a poly tunnel coming on?

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2021, 12:06 »
It's a problem that is moving further north in the UK every year ( we got it here for the first time 4 years ago) and the only real solution is a fine mesh covering for your aliums.

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JayG

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2021, 12:09 »
Probably wise to cover throughout the growing season otherwise you are gambling on whether the timing of the 2 annual breeding cycles is as predicted (it is bound to vary in different parts of the country, especially given our more unpredictable climate in recent years.)

Environmesh (or similar) is required as the flies responsible are quite tiny.

Not sure leeks are really suitable for polytunnel or greenhouse growing - I would have thought it would make it too hot for them, but others may have done it successfully.  :unsure:
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Blewit

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2021, 08:44 »
We've suffered the ALM since 2014 and unfortunately it even finds spring onions in the polytunnel. For us the spring offensive starts late April /early May but the autumn session varies in timing so much it's difficult to predict when it will hit. We find covering with Enviromesh Ultrafine the best organic solution, some gardeners on the allotments say they have success using Jayes Fluid or similar to disguise the onion smell but having never tried it I can't vouch for this.
I did read that the first three years are worse for an area and it does seem to follow, but once you have the pest it sticks around and you're never free of it.
Although garlic and elephant garlic are also targets for ALM, the maggots  stay in the paper layers between the cloves - it's messy sorting out the pupae in the kitchen but the cloves themselves are unaffected. We now cover all alliums during the affected seasons and allow plenty of time either side of expected activity times.
I'm not trying to bang the drum or anything but as no-dig gardeners using compost mulch the nets can be left in place for months without lifting to weed. It worked first time for us spreading shop bought MPC between onions before netting. Garlic below was netted 11th April and stayed undisturbed for 8 weeks (by which time the plants were jammed against the top). Even without weeding there was just four weeds - three poppies and a groundsel.
Garlic net.jpg

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Yorkie

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2021, 21:28 »
some gardeners on the allotments say they have success using Jayes Fluid or similar to disguise the onion smell but having never tried it I can't vouch for this.

I should probably just point out, for members who may be unaware, that using Jeyes fluid on soil hasn't been allowed for some years now.   :)

And, anyway, I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything which had been treated with it  :unsure:

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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mumofstig

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2021, 21:35 »
I should probably just point out, for members who may be unaware, that using Jeyes fluid on soil hasn't been allowed for some years now.   :)

And, anyway, I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything which had been treated with it  :unsure:
I agree, I think the smell would put me off, never mind the flies  :ohmy:
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Blewit

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 08:11 »
some gardeners on the allotments say they have success using Jayes Fluid or similar to disguise the onion smell but having never tried it I can't vouch for this.

And, anyway, I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything which had been treated with it  :unsure:

Me neither.. we don't use chemicals or artificials.

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Christine

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 08:25 »
You do have to be careful with Jeyes Fluid. It's now sold only as a cleaning product and not for use on allotments as suggested here. Lot of the older plot holders still think it's fit for soil sterilisation and such. Unfortunately that's long since been banned.

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snowdrops

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 09:50 »
I sometimes think my whole allotment will be covered with some sort of netting soon. I too use enviromesh against the allium moth too.
Blewitt, how are you fastening your net down n that photo, looks very neat?
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Blewit

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2021, 14:37 »
I sometimes think my whole allotment will be covered with some sort of netting soon. I too use enviromesh against the allium moth too.
Blewitt, how are you fastening your net down n that photo, looks very neat?
Just bricks along the sides (I prefer to use metal poles if I can spare them), the ends are twisted tight and held with a spring clamp and a brick. You can just about see below on the debris net how we do it. (Incidentally, garlic, now grown a bit, is further down the plot.

PS I wasn't suggesting anyone should use Jeyes or similar on the soil, the gardeners I referred to drip it onto rags suspended on a string above the ground. Still not something I'd do.
20210603_162123.jpg

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snowdrops

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2021, 17:30 »
Thanks Blewitt, I do some thing similar at the ends but usually use wire pegs along the sides in debris netting through the holes that are part of the net but Iíve got new enviromesh & donít want to make holes in it, I sewed buttonholes into some old stuff I had  :ohmy: but it takes ages

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madcat

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Re: Allium Leaf Miner Phytomyza gymnostoma
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2021, 22:00 »
Fine enviromesh here too - if it isnt the allium leaf miner, it is the leek moth trying to wreak the crop.  And then there are the onion flies.  An allotment site is just an all-you-can-eat restaurant for them as there is always someone with them uncovered to keep the population going.  :mad: :mad:
Then there is the debris netting for the brassicas and the soft fruit, the fencing to stop the rabbits, the spinning CDs over the salads to discourage the pigeons ...  Bah!    ::)
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