SOME plots just grow good carrots and some, like mine, grow awful ones. Each year I try, I mean really try but I never quite manage it.

Last year I did better than ever before, and managed to grow carrots without a great deal of carrot fly damage, but they weren’t exactly huge. They certainly looked rude, which my daughter found hilarious.

I think almost everyone one had some kind of appendage, shall we say!

One thing’s for sure, I absolutely cannot grow them in a normal raised bed. My soil is very heavy clay and full of rocks and stones. Hitting a stone or something hard causes your carrot to grow in a peculiar shape.

I have a really high raised bed which I used last year, so I have replaced the compost and I’m trying again this year. My problem is carrot fly and being on a rather large allotment we do suffer from it.

Carrot flies are rather clever. They can smell the bruised leaf of a carrot from half a mile away (so they say). The fly lays its eggs in the soil and the larvae feed on the roots, eventually tunnelling into the carrot and causing them to rot.

There’s no sadder feeling than pulling up, what appears to be the greatest carrot the world has ever seen and finding it a brown mottled mess. Heart breaking!

You can attempt to keep them away by growing them high up. They say a carrot fly flies quite low, so if you plant them higher, around 60cm, you could escape them. You can also cover them with enviromesh, it’s quite pricey.

The thing about covering your veg is, doesn’t it look awful? But I guess do you grow to look pretty or to eat your produce?

I also hear that you can now get carrot fly nematodes which you water in from April to September, I’ve never tried it, so I’d love to hear from you if you have.

If you’re growing carrots, just be careful not to bruise or damage the leaves when you thin them out and surround them with garlic, nematodes, enviromesh and a small army and you never know, this year could be a bumper harvest…

My allotment to do list:

Water the tomatoes everyday also feed them too.

Prune side shoots on gooseberries.

Keep on top of weeding, there’s lots of competition for water and space going on.