Once again: leek moth

I thought we’d got away with it, but once again plot #103 has been blighted by leek moth. This year we spread our leeks out in the edible landscape and around half of them have been tunnelled by the moth, but the other half have escaped unscathed. This is rather cool news, as I had thought it was possible to limit the effects of the blight by breaking up the traditional rows of leeks so that the moths struggled to find the next plant to attack and that does seem to be true.

We still have to be vigilant about removing every trace of leek debris from the plot, and burning it, so that the adult moths which are tiny and which over-winter in leek debris, are totally destroyed.

It seems that our plan to encourage winter birds is working too: birds, bats, frogs and beetles are all moth and caterpillar consumers. So are hedgehogs but I think our site has too many foxes for us to have a hedgehog population, certainly I’ve never seen a hedgepig on the site. Anyway, we can also cover leeks with fleece (although I hate that, as I try to keep the ugliness of fleece to a minimum), dig over the soil in winter so that any moths and pupae below the surface are available for predators or killed by frost, and above all we can try to not plant our leeks out until Mid May, which is past the peak of the egg-laying season.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, November 17, 2011


Blogger Wendy Ogden said...

We've got foxes and hedgehogs in our garden.

One morning last summer my husband called me to the window early in the morning to see a fox sitting comfortably in the garden like he owned it.

We were amazed to see two hedgehogs come through the hedge from next door and scurry through the garden. They passed him a couple of feet away but he just viewed them with disdain, had a scratch and wandered off.

I'm guessing those spines do work on foxes.

November 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM  

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