Some of Richard Wright’s undamaged runner beans. Picture by BELLA WRIGHT
THOSE Jack the lads of the avian community or even smaller cousins could be responsible for the untimely end of many of my runner beans — or it could be mice.
Opinion is divided.
After my appeal in last week’s column over what creature was responsible for eating the tender stalks of my runners half-way up the poles, Peter Williams sent me a postcard from his Gully Road home in Seaview.
He wrote: "We sussed it was mice early in the year when only stalks were left in the ground.
"It could only be mice. So we baited traps with peanut butter and caught 31 mice, one vole and a snail."
Mike Chandler and his wife, Barbara, also contacted me.
Mike said: "We live in Winchester Close and our allotment is at the back of our house.
"The jackdaws sit on the roofs of the houses opposite in Linden Road and watch us on the allotment.
"We have not had any trouble with our runner beans but we have witnessed them taking the tender tops off the pea plants.
"They are fearless and cunning, and, later on, get under the pea netting or bite through the top of the netting to get at the pea pods.
"You can almost see them plotting their campaign as they watch us trying to cover things up."
Barbara added: "We also know of someone who had the same trouble with sparrows on the runner beans, so maybe in your case too, it might be birds.
"While on the subject of wildlife cunning, we have watched blackbirds bend down and take the tadpoles from our pond."
That’s nature — it has to be both adaptable and resourceful to survive. I just wish it would do it somewhere else.