Yesterday I left a glass of water out on the porch and this morning I found a large beetle in it struggling to survive. With 124 potato plants in the garden I was hoping it would be a while longer before I saw any signs of beetles. I’ve learned in years past that beetles love to nip on the leaves of potato plants. You would think this is no big deal being the potatoes grow underground and not hanging from the branches like other vegetables, however an infestation of beetles will eat the plant to death and that is the end of the growth of potatoes.
What was a healthy potato crop yesterday is a spotted crop today. I didn’t see any beetles on the leaves and it could be some other infestation effecting the plants though the alleged perpetrator was captured in the glass 50 feet from garden trying to flee the scene.
Like the first year I gardened here on the farm when I spotted a slain woodchuck in the road, I though my problems would be over. The old farmer next door laughed and told me there are thousands of woodchucks out here in the fields eating the crops and right he was. With that one woodchuck dead and gone my crops continued to be eaten. So I heed the wise farmer’s advice and plant enough for them and hope there is still enough for us.
If beetles and woodchucks aren’t enough to worry about here on the farm, I have my man Fred who has a ride-on, mowing down the asparagus crop. This morning he asked if I could send Matthew out to pick up around the yard, he has plans mow the lawn before dinner.
I hope the potatoes have enough time to grow before the death of the plant. I hilled them up even higher with the arrival of the spots. I have Peanut the dog guarding the farm and she has learned a ferocious bark that I suspect has frightened off the woodchucks or so I hope. I’ve also learned a new trick. When Fred asks to have Matthew clean up the yard, I hear “Aligaeta, harvest the asparagus!”
For more on Fred and asparagus: Dinner with Aligaeta: Oh Joy! | Aligaeta’s Blog
What do they say that you hear different?