Organic Solutions?

biofreakbiofreak Posts: 554

Horror of horrors, got back from UK last night in time for nice amble around the Potager - Leaves shredded from 2 gooseberry bushes. RHS Book says Sawfly

Will they damage the super fruit arriving? What can I do non-chemical??


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,245

    I had a couple of bushes totally stripped a year or two back. The crop was reduced but the following year they were fine. I don't spray. I would probably have picked off the caterpillars if I had seen them, but working full time they got missed. There are no long term effects.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 554

    No trace of caterpillars. French gardening mag says cut off tips to first fruit as sawfly love the young growth. Have done this - now fingers crossed! Thanks for advice so far.

  • BrummieBenBrummieBen Posts: 459

    They'll eat the lot, by clipping off the soft young growth the idea is you remove most of the sawfly. However, when push comes to shove sawfly eat ALL the leaves.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,692

    I remember as a child seeing gooseberry bushes draped with net curtains - I thought it was to keep the birds off, but maybe the curtains kept sawflies off as well?

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    I think they start from ground level up so cutting off the tips will not help much.

  • BrummieBenBrummieBen Posts: 459

    they are tiny caterpillars, green with a black head, when first hatched they are like less than 1 mm, fully grown maybe 4mm and a head like a black pinhead. They are hard to spot, easiest way is to look at the damage areas, they will be curved like the halfcircle they are planing off, they will all basically be on the leaf edges.

  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 554

    Thank you so much for all your comments. Looks like pruning worked, but I'm not holding my breath! Would just like Gooseberry Pie this year!

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