Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Success and problems

Chris and I visited our allotment today and met with a few problems but were generally pleased. The recent heavy rains have made the soil very workable and weeds, of which there were many, were easy to remove.


An undoubted success has been our lettuces, strong and healthy. They are free of problems, but the same cannot be said of our peas.


Our lettuces are doing well. Drayton Allotments, Daventry.
18 June, 2019 
Despite being carefully netted wood pigeons have managed to nip off so many shoots that the plants are stunted. Some of the leaves have been mined by the larvae of the agromyzid fly Chromatomyia horticola but the damage is minimal and of no consequence. The picture shows clearly how the mine starts off as a very narrow structure but gradually widens as the larva fattens. It finally ends when the fly pupates and then flies off.


The peas are being attacked by Chromatomyia horticola, but only in a
minor way. Drayton Allotments, Daventry. 18 June, 2019
On the potato foliage a micro-moth was 'resting'. What it was really doing is difficult to establish but it may have been actively releasing a pheromone in order to attract a mate.

It was a Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana. Despite is dull name it is rather an interesting insect, being an Australian moth first recorded in Cornwall in 1936. Since then it has spread steadily although populations are cut back during a hard winter. Part of its success lies in the fact that it is highly polyphagous, its larvae being able to feed on a wide range of plants.

The Light Brown Apple Moth, despite its name, is not confined to apples.
Drayton Allotments, Daventry. 18 June, 2019
Finally I ought to mention that I found a couple of oak seedlings while weeding. How they got there is anyone's guess for I am not aware of any oak trees nearby. Were the acorns buried by a squirrel? Were they dropped by a bird such as a jay? I intend to carefully lift and replant them once I have located a suitable site.


 

This oak seedling can't stay where it is. Drayton Allotments, Daventry.
18 June, 2019

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