Fighting Fruit fly

The year we moved here we were greeted with a yard full of rotting fruit. Oranges, mandarins, plums, peaches and apricots. You could tell they had been beautiful fruit but they  had all been left to rot on the trees and were full of fruit fly. We decided then if we wanted to keep these trees we would have to be very vigilant about fruit fly. In the subsequent years we have had limited success and I think it depends a great deal on the weather. Last year there were hardly any but I think it was just too dry!
As we try to garden organically we have a multi layered approach to fruit fly. Firstly and most important I think is good garden hygiene and healthy plants. We have a silkie cage that goes around the fruit tress and the silkies hopefully eat up any leftover fruit fly larvae and fallen fruit.

I also use fruit fly exclusion bags so if the worst comes to the worst at least we get some of the fruit and I guess if we cut down the opportunities for the flies to lay their eggs we should reduce the numbers.

Check out the full dam in the background!
I also make a bait of cloudy ammonia, raw sugar and vanilla that I put in bottles in the tree and when they do become active a ginger beer bait as well.
This year the stone fruit trees are loaded, so much so that yesterday a branch broke off the peach tree. I have done considerable thinning of the fruit. Looks like the plums and peaches will ripen first. The apricots don't look as healthy as usual as they have a bit of freckle disease, I think this is from the humid weather and hope that a bit of hot dry weather will sort them out. This time last year we were picking the apricots and the temperature was in the high thirties, today it will be mid twenties and the apricots look about three weeks off being ripe.
I am picking up my new (second hand) preserving unit tomorrow so hoping for a bumper harvest with no fruit fly.

Remember the shared care chickens, they are now five weeks old, growing very fast.


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