Vegetables and wildlife

One I missed!I planted the nine first early potatoes Red Duke of York on 23rd March and seven had appeared by 12th April but the last two didn’t appear until 23rd April, by which time I’d almost given up on them. Plenty of the other varieties are now appearing, and thankfully none of the foliage has been frosted this week despite a couple of rather chilly mornings. Today I dug up this large orphan potato from last year that I’d missed, which is surprising as I’d dug and forked over that area a couple of times.

Well nibbled broad bean plantI sowed a second lot of broad beans Karmayzn earlier in the week. As you can see  the first ones have been nibbled by bean weevils, which does retard growth but they do soon recover thankfully. I’ll be sowing a third lot mid-May onwards just to see how ones that late fare.

So far I only appear to have lost a handful of onions of the hundred or so that I planted.  As I always plant more than I need I haven’t replaced them. The leaves on most are now several inches high and as I allowed plenty of room between them I’m finding it easy to weed, either by hand or hoeing.

This morning I was pleased to see a robin keep appearing on the plot, at times little more than arm’s length away.  Hopefully it will do that again when I have the camera to hand. This week I’ve seen crows, pigeons and starlings all drinking from one of the ponds.

Bumble bee on a perennial cornflowerI don’t often see bumble bees on the flowers so it was good to see this fuzzy fellow on a perennial cornflower.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

[Click on any picture to see a larger image]

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About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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24 Responses to Vegetables and wildlife

  1. Awesome update thank you for sharing

  2. Jo says:

    It doesn’t matter how thorough we think we’ve been in the potato patch, one or two always escape us. I always think bean leaves look really attractive with frilly edges, it’s just a shame that it’s pests work, it’s a good job it doesn’t hold back bean production. You should have some meal worms to hand when your robin appears, perhaps you could tempt him to eat from your hand, that would make for a great photo. Not sure how you’d manage to take it though with a robin perched on one of your hands.

    • Flighty says:

      Jo I agree but was really surprised that I missed one this big. I’m just glad that the beans don’t suffer. I’ve thought about doing that but I’m happy enough just to watch them as I do, and occasionally get a photo of them. xx

  3. Joanne says:

    I keep on finding teeny tiny ones on the veg patch. We riddle & scatter the old pots of compost on the veg patch, some of the tiddlers must escape through the holes. I was extremely late planting my potatoes, I only put them in their pots the other day. Hope your Robin comes back to you, I think they are such cheerful & polite birds x

    • Flighty says:

      Joanne I don’t mind missing tiny ones. I’m sure that you’re potatoes will be fine as they’re not that late. I hope that it does to. xx

  4. Gratifying to have the last potatoes popping up Flighty. I always find it impossible to completely dig up the potatoes, I am spotting loads coming up again in the old patch this year though, I must have done a worse job than usual! I’m hoping to get some time to sow more broad beans and peas tomorrow or the next day, in my continuing experiments with direct sowing. Good to hear your robin is still visiting – we have had lots of goldfinch around recently, which is a lovely treat.

    • Flighty says:

      Janet it sure is, and they always do. I’m just the same. I hope that your direct sowing fares well. It’s always pleasing to see a robin on the plot. Lucky you with the goldfinches. xx

  5. Glo says:

    Sounds like you are well on your way to a good growing season and harvest! Your cornflowers are ahead of mine which are still in bud under the lilac tree. Did you eat the lone potato? Nice to know the robin is close by 🙂 Any sign of frogs?

    • Flighty says:

      Glo I certainly hope so. I’m sure that you’re cornflowers will appear soon. It sure is. Sadly I’ve not seen any frogs for a few years now. xx

  6. CJ says:

    I’ve found quite a few potatoes I missed last year. Lots of the potato foliage at site has been wilted by the cold so you’re lucky to have avoided it I think. My broad beans have that same edging, I didn’t know what it was – now I do, so thank you for identifying it. I’ve had quite a few bumble bees in the garden, they seem to love the blueberry flowers most. Enjoy the rest of the week Flighty. CJ xx

    • Flighty says:

      CJ I think that it’s par for the course so to speak. I was surprised that mine hadn’t been frost nipped. At least it grows back. I think that broad bean problem is quite common. It’s always good to see bumble bees. Thanks, and you too. xx

  7. Caro says:

    I kept finding old potatoes for several years after I’d planted them in the ground. I now grow them in bags so I’m pretty sure of getting them all! It’s lovely to see bees, etc, returning to the garden. I felt very privileged to see a tiny young hoverfly on the lovage plant here today – it looked like an airplane taxi-ing up and down on a runway, not sure which way to go. I’ve also had a little robin keeping me company, he likes to fly in and sit on one of the posts of the new fence – but always when I don’t have my camera nearby!

    • Flighty says:

      Caro I usually only find ones from the previous year. I find hoverflies fascinating insects. It’s nice to see that you’ve had a robin around as well. Not having a camera around sounds like me! xx

  8. Mark Willis says:

    Luckily all my potatoes are grown in containers, so it is relatively easy to protect them – and they definitely have needed protecting just recently! You get a lot of different wildlife on your plot, don’t you? I often wonder what I would see if I sat up all night watching my garden!

    • Flighty says:

      Mark yes there have too many cold nights recently. I certainly do. I wonder that but always get the feeling that would be the night all the wildlife stays in bed! cheers.

  9. nikkipolani says:

    Those centaurea blooms are tempting me, Flighty. They are such pretty colors. Glad to know the frost hasn’t damaged your potato crop.

    • Flighty says:

      Nikki they are a lovely colour. There’s also a white variety and a wonderful blue/white one called Amethyst on Ice. Thankfully even if potato leaves get frosted they do grow back and it doesn’t affect the tubers. xx

  10. snowbird says:

    No matter what a rogue potato or dozen always start growing in my veggie patch, funnily enough, I actually end up getting a good crop from them!Drat and darn it re the bean weevils, hopefully they won’t affect the growth!
    It’s good to hear so many birds are visiting the pond, and always lovely to see a bee on such a lovely flower.xxx

    • Flighty says:

      Snowbird we all seem to have the same problem with such potatoes. I hope that the broad beans are okay too.
      Thanks, I’ve seen more than ever over the past couple of weeks, and yes it sure is. xx

  11. Chloris says:

    Something has been eating my broad beans too but I don’ t think it is vine weevils. Such a nuisance . It is impossible to dig all the potatoes up, each year they appear where you don’ t want them.

  12. menhir1 says:

    Do you think b-bees have different depths of coloured coats, according to the time of year? Your visitor had a muted colouration, which, as it happens blended well with the flower s/he or, it, was working on.

    Your orphan potato looks like a good one, in the circumstances, it over-wintered in the best place.

    I see you are either keeping dated and detailed notes, or, you have a gardening diary. Whichever it is, you are very organised. Xx

    • Flighty says:

      Menhir that’s an interesting observation, and they could well do.
      Most potatoes that I dig up from the previous year are much smaller. they’re okay left in the ground if undamaged otherwise they tend to rot.
      I keep some notes but nothing really too detailed. I try to be organised as it makes it easier to plot. xx

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