Author Topic: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry  (Read 240 times)

John85

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Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« on: October 12, 2017, 11:40:06 »
Looking for an organic way to control it other than nematodes.
Some say it can be controlled with sprays of a tea brewed from digitalis leaves.
Has anyone tried it?
What do you use? handpicking and .....?

Digeroo

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 13:55:51 »
There as a thread about putting rhubarb leaves under the plants.  I do not know if it works or not but I haven't had any sawflies
Digitalis is a poison but I would then be wary of eating the fruits.

antipodes

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 09:48:40 »
I have had them before, actually, washing the leaves vigourously with soapy water helps but with gooseberries that is nigh on impossible with the thorns. yes Rhubarb leaves help but only before the infestation. Someone here said she had success with peanuts scattered around the base, which encouraged birds who then saw the caterpillars and ate them, have not tried that myself though.
2012 - Snow in February, non-stop rain till July. Blight and rot are rife. Thieving voles cause strife. But first runner beans and lots of greens. Follow an English allotment in urban France: http://roos-and-camembert.blogspot.com

ed dibbles

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 12:00:23 »
Another candidate for a physical barrier perhaps. According to the RHS the sawflies can be active from april to september so constantly picking them off will be a pretty thankless chore.

They overwinter in the soil beneath the gooseberry/redcurrant bushes so perhaps the rhubarb leaves act more as a physical barrier rather than a poison.

It may be you can break the cycle by covering thier host plant with environmesh or debris netting for a season not forgetting the get the barrier as close to the stem as you can. if they can't feed they can't pupate thus breaking the cycle.

The problem is that if the bushes are grown on an allotment you may protect your own bush while bushes on neighbouring plots still host the sawflies. In other words you won't break the cycle. A garden situation is likely to be more successful. :happy7:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=517


LesH

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 20:15:38 »
   Spray with liquid Derris, then watch the caterpillars curl up and drop off the plant.

Vinlander

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 11:27:20 »
BT (Bacillus thuringensis) is the perfect killer for caterpillars - in fact it's so targeted that they've bred strains to hit particular caterpillars.

I got good results from it about 10 years ago (luckily the last time I had stripped gooseberries), but it seems to have disappeared from the shops. This makes me wonder if the broad-spectrum type I used is no longer available.

Perhaps someone can throw some light on this? I read the Wiki article but I'm still not sure what it means for those of us who are amateurs.

I think professionals can still get it - maybe you have to know the actual species to get the right stuff?

Cheers.

PS. All my old stocks of derris/rotenone have degraded (confirming it's still a lot safer for the environment than neo-nics) and it's very hard to source now because it's been "linked" to Parkinsons** - hmmm... (read the site www.dhmo.org together with the definition of "cui bono").

**I suspect that's mainly because we were encouraged to 'splash it on all over' - one of the justifications for the latter being that many jungle tribes have been eating derris-stunned fish for millennia - something that still makes me think it's preferable to new stuff that was only tested "five minutes last week". If used with care...
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 12:46:25 »
Gooseberries used to be part of the Winter wash regime, but now that Armtillox/Mortegg/Jeyes are just for patios ,one wonders if that area might be the best place to dispose of the pot and tray washing solution....
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Re: Sawfly on red/white currant and gooseberry
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 12:46:25 »