Celariac hollowed out?

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Southbrook
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Re: Life on the allotment through photos

Postby Southbrook » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:17 pm

I have a query re celeriac. We grew some plug plants last year and got some small roots but pretty good. This year we started seeds in the greenhouse which seemed to not take so we bought more plugs, only to find our own sowings had started. So, two versions to compare. We had half a dozen left over so rather than bin them we planted them in a spare raised bed and they took off. Tonight we noticed the foliage wilting on one and when we dug it out we found the bulb hollowed out. The others were the same. The only "predators" in evidence were wood lice. Any comment/explanation/advice please?
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Westi » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:32 pm

I've had some damage from woodlice before on turnips - I think you may have answered your own question maybe? But are they are just opportunistic. Looking forward to replies.

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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Primrose » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:43 pm

I think wood lice particularly like round root crops like celeriac, turnips and beetroot. Not being climbers, they're ideal fodder for them. Strangely I've never known them attack my parsnips, i've never been partixulary successful with celeriac. Various attempts have have never produced anything bigger than a tennis ball, even in a good year. I don,t think they like my light stoney soil. Do you have any other "woodenish" plants nearby with stick-like stems which would encourage them to hang around ?
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby John » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:57 pm

Hello SB
This could be a nutrient deficiency problem. In swede and turnip it is sometimes a problem and known as brown heart. Its caused by a deficiency of boron in the soil. I have never had this problem with celeriac and it is in a different plant family to swede and turnip.
Celeriac needs a rich soil that is kept moist at ALL times if it is to do well. It also needs a long growing season so it start early. To be on the safe side in future years I would feed at times by watering in a soluble fertilizer such as phostrogen or similar which contain traces of boron.
The woodlice are just opportunists moving in after the damage has occurred.
Regards
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Southbrook
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Southbrook » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:22 am

Thanks just for your thoughts. We are growing some roots in open ground and they seem to be ok. The raised bed could well have dried out this year and the roots have been shaded somewhat by a rather prolific globe artichoke. We are also growing a few spare parsnips in the same bed but they seem OK.
Better have a closer check.
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Westi » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:13 pm

Reading this made me think, woodlice got a few of my strawberries this year. My neighbour made a comment about my old timber surround I had put down attracted them & the attacked turnips were in a bed with a timber surround. Has your raised bed got a timber surround or near one that has maybe?

My celeraic gets a drenching when I go down & is in the shade of the apple tree, not constantly moist at surface level but OK at root level. They seem to have been in forever - tick to John's comment & that bed got a really good lot of muck forked in over winter - tick again, (not for the celeriac especially but a really sandy part of the plot & it's turn).

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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Primrose » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:27 pm

Westi. I think you have answered the reason why so many of my strawberries were damaged by woodlice earlier this year - decaying wood. They're in a border against a very old fence which is rotting at the base, as they often do, so they have an idyllic situation, plenty of wood to chomp away at then fruit for. dessert. Can't do much about the boundary fence as it's not ours and I can't see the owner spending money to replace it.

Are there any effective deterrants against woodlice ?
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Westi » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:36 pm

Just a thought & believe me I am no handyman or woodlice behaviourist, but if you got a fresh piece of timber and secured it somehow to your side of the fence would the woodlice deflect back to their side of the fence & if you painted with strip with wood protective paint it would protect your strawberries for several years.

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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Primrose » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:58 pm

Yes, that's a thought. Thank you.
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:04 pm

I put in a question about woodlice last week. They've been eating my peaches. No wood anywhere near. Aluminium greenhouse and it's in a large plastic pot. The only thing they would like is the moisture in the greenhouse. I wondered if there were any traps/non chemical methods of getting rid of them?
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Geoff » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:26 pm

I'm with John, on mature things I think woodlice are just opportunists, something else has damaged the celeriac first, perhaps vine weevils?
Generally though I think woodlice are an underrated pest, I think they do for almost as many seedlings as slugs do. I take a lot of trouble to control them where I raise stuff from seed, I dust the benches under the seed trays with ant killer (and spread slug pellets). I'm afraid I don't know a non-chemical way of getting rid of them apart from best possible hygiene.
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Beryl » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:08 pm

I think lack of moisture might be the reason for hollow celeriac. This is the first year mine have not grown as I've not be able to water as well as I should in the long dry spells. Potatoes that grow very large have tendency to be hollow inside to through lack of moisture to.

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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Johnboy » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:05 pm

The trouble we get with hollowed out roots is a problem with Voles.
Woodlice are a far bigger pest than people imagine. Disturb them and the scurry everywhere to get out of the light.
They are night feeders and can do untold damage to nursery stock in just one night.
JB.
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Southbrook
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Re: Celariac hollowed out?

Postby Southbrook » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:34 pm

To answer Westi on 16th, yes they are wood surrounds but new and well treated. I suppose the compost itself could have housed them. Quite a lot to think about. Fact remains that the celeriac in the soil are ok but those in the raised bed failed. Drying out is a strong possibility.
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