Flea beetle

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hilary
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Flea beetle

Postby hilary » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:22 am

Has anyone else being having problems with flea beetle this year? My sprouts and sprouting broccoli are completely spoilt by the blighters. I have lifted all netting and trying to keep damp. Difficult in East Anglia where we seem to miss all the rain! Does anyone have any ideas. The sprouts I am hoping will recover but the SB is small enough to be really affected
Having a moan to a friend she said her husband farmer was giving up growing oil seed rape because of the problem since they are no longer allowed to use one of the sprays.
Too much rain, no rain, heat waves a challenging year for gardeners!

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Westi
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Westi » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:52 pm

They are a right nuisance and always on my Chinese brassicas, they account for quite a few failures as the crops can't fight them when little. I read to mesh them, but it makes no difference, I pooled water under plants then shake the plants hoping they will drop & drown but nothing works. I rarely use sprays but I would be up to trying an organic one if any one can recommend one that works as I would like to have a few plants for use in salads & stir fries.

Your right Hilary, another challenging year - I will add mice & birds to the other natural issues, worst year for germination or baby plant fails thanks to the wildlife, but I have to admire their determination to overcome the barriers I put up!
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby hilary » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:18 am

Thanks Westi. I may try bringing them on indoors next year so that they aren't eaten in the early stages but then light is a challenge!
Organic sprays worry me in that Derris Dust used to be thought organic and is now banned. Those yellow sticky traps were just hopeless to use or perhaps I am just inept!

I agree with you about wildlife - the mice were stealing my strawberries .......

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Tony Hague
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Tony Hague » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:02 am

There's always a Geoff Hamilton style flea beetle trolley ! A thing that straddles the row, carrying the sticky yellow card, with a wire or something to disturb the beetles, making them jump onto the stick trap.

No, I've never tried it.

Another solution tried commercially is a sort of vacuum cleaner !
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Primrose » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:33 am

They've wrecked most of my few greens seedlings this year too which is very dispiriting. The only types which they don't seem to have gone for at all are Swiss Chard and Curly Kale.
I thought about covering them with large plastic pop bottles but this only works until they're a certain size and of course in very hot weather the seedlings would overheat and cook to death so not really a solution.
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Colin2016
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Colin2016 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:32 am

Would a garlic spray work?

All my Brassicas are covered with scaffolding netting which seems to keep most pest off and using garlic spray for those that get through.

I have heard of Bacillus Thuringiensis not used it but wonder if it would help.
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Westi » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:38 pm

Good suggestion with the garlic spray Colin, that could well work!
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Primrose
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Primrose » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:42 pm

How do best make up a garlic spray? Just crush some and let it soak in water and then transfer the liquid into a spray type bottle? How much garlic would you need to use for it to be effective?
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Westi » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:13 pm

I've only made it once & it did seem to be disliked by lots of wee nuisances. I blitzed up a couple of bulbs, poured hot water over them & let it steep overnight, strained & filled a hand spray. I don't know how I forgot it as it seemed to work, I recall the cabbage whites were fairly disinterested in getting in the netting & whiteflies really didn't like it.
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Colin2016 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:17 am

Got this from Charles Dowding forum not made it up yet as still using brought product.

Garlic Slug Deterrent

1.Take 2 full bulbs of garlic and add them to approximately 2L of water in a saucepan.
2.Boil until soft and squash with the back of a fork to release as much juice as possible.
3.Sieve out skins and bits so you are left with a cloudy liquid concentrate.
4.Dilute approximately 2 tablespoons to 5L of water in a sprayer or watering can.
5.Spray or water over your plants once a week.
6.High dosage and more regular applications may be needed in wet weather.

Charles comment...Such a useful tip Kath, thanks.
It’s been around for a while and one thing to be careful of is not to make the garlic concentration any higher than in the recipe give, as it can otherwise singe leaves if watered on them!
Worth trying on ants nests too, with some crushed chilli or chilli powder added to the mix
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Westi » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:48 pm

Seems value for money in that recipe Colin, that's a considerable amount & would be highly concentrated. If I recall correctly I had loads of wee bits of garlic & they were a pain to sieve out, so I had to use my jelly muslin & put it through twice, but you would get loads more of the sulphurous oil/juice by boiling & mushing it up. It is on my to do list for Friday already (rain anticipated), but will try this recipe at 1/2 quantity or even 1/4. I also plan to do some more sowing in trays of Chinese bits, & some turnips & radish, ready to trial it, although I may have a little trial of spraying the soil prior to sowing direct & see what happens. I shall report back!
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:07 am

Does it keep long ? If you're making 2L to use at 50ml/5L, that would go a long way for me. I guess halving the quantities is easy.
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Re: Flea beetle

Postby Colin2016 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:18 am

I checked the brought garlic concentrate there is no use by date so guess it wont go off quick.

Wonder if it is like comfrey tea or red wine it gets better with age?
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