Although bean crops in most areas are close to the end of their productive life (April-May), some gardeners in warm climates are having problems with bean fly.
The best way to avoid bean fly is to have plenty of compost in the bed where you grow your beans so that they will have a full range of nutrients available to them. These pests tend to attack plants that are low in potassium. A drink or two of seaweed extract tea can help bean plants that have been attacked because it has plenty of potassium, as well as trace elements that plants need for good health. But don’t overdo the seaweed as too much can “lock out” some other nutrients.
Also, hill up soil around the main stem of the bean plants to encourage them to send out more roots along the stem above the damaged area just above ground level. Mix some compost through the hilled-up soil. Plants can be saved this way. Also, allow a three year break between growing crops of beans in the same soil.
Bean fly love warm, humid weather. In these conditions put out some yellow sticky paper traps to alert you to their arrival, and hopefully catch some of the adults before they lay eggs. Also look out for fine lines on leaves and stems indicating where the larvae have tunnelled to reach the base of the stem. Stems of affected plants become swollen, cracked and reddish in colour.
Organic sprays are not really effective because the larvae that do the damage are protected by plant cells. A good fertilising and watering routine will help your plants avoid these pests.
Moon Planting Calendar 2018
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