Flies on my sweet corn plants

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Pauljm, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Pauljm

    Pauljm Active Member Premium Member

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    Hi all and Happy 2019! Still trying to work out where 2018 went but anyway it’s gone now! So as u can see by the photo I have sweet corn growing with cucumber plants. Can anyone tell me what the flies are attracted to and how to get rid of them? The plants themselves started great but got damaged in a storm. There are only a couple of ears over the 6 plants.
    I also have a cucumber beetle plague again. They have taken out my zucchini plants and are working on pumpkin and cuc’s at the moment. I squash about a dozen a day and Neem oil doesn’t seem to do anything. Does anyone else battle with them? Thanks as usual for any advice
    480DB98E-F922-461D-8A0D-080416DDDD37.jpeg image.jpg
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Happy New Year back to you to Pauljm!
    I wasn't able to enlarge the photo enough to make out the flies or see what they were feeding on.
    Is it possible to get a much close up photo?

    The cue leaves look dry & leathery, indicating a lack of nutrition.
    Seaweed foliar feed might help with general nutritional first aid for the cues and won't hurt the corn either.
    Generally, more fertilizer will solve the issues.

    Plants give off distress signals which insects home in on.
    Which is how some plants get infested while others don't.
    One reason why corn fails to set is overnight or early morning fog or rain.
    It sets the male pollen packets on the flowers atop the stems.
    It explodes from the packet in a yellow cloud & has to drift down to the silks in the early morning to pollinate the cobs.
    To aid pollination, you can tap the stems to help release the pollen. (BTW Same for tomatoes.)
    If you only have a few stems, there might not be a mature male flower at the time the cob silks are ready to be pollinated.
    Or vice versa.
    Its one reason to plant in tight blocks. So if doing planting succession, plant each set in a block of 4, 6 or 9.
    Not in a single row.
    Another thing that can happen when cues are added into the mix, is their large leaves can prevent the pollen falling onto the silks.
     
  3. Pauljm

    Pauljm Active Member Premium Member

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    Hi Clissat, you can see the flies better in this pic. They are also on some younger corn planted in a garden about 5 metres from this one. They are basically scattered all over the top half of the plants.
    The photo of the cuc above is an older plant in a different garden that had been ravaged by the beetles.
    6AAD1E54-9C5B-45EC-88F7-C87FFF64EAE9.jpeg
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I was hoping you could get me a close up of a fly so I could identify it! :)
    Never mind.
    If you make compost the flies could be from that.
    They look like they are freshly hatched & sitting on the plant warming up in the sun ready for first flight.
    They aren't saw flies, but could be some other type that does well in breaking down compost quickly.
    Or if you've recently buried some animal product they could simply be blow flies all freshly hatched out of the ground.
    Flies can dig up to the surface several inches through soft soil.
    Or do you make your own compost tea which flies might lay eggs into?
     
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