Watch out for those white caterpillars
Hannah Stephenson has tips on how to protect your vegetables
KEEP an eye on emerging cabbage leaves for tell-tale holes and pick off any cabbage white caterpillars you find before they do any more damage.
To control them and stop the female butterflies laying their eggs, you need to keep fine mesh covers which were put on earlier in the season in place.
Check regularly that there are no holes in the netting and that the leaves aren’t touching the covers, as the butterflies will get through the smallest gap and lay their eggs on the leaves through the mesh. Squash by hand any you see.
These vigorous hardy geraniums will cover ground faster than weeds and produce some of the prettiest summer flowers in shades ranging from white to pink to purple, making them ideal candidates for the front of the border.
They will grow in any reasonable garden soil in sun or shade and should suppress weeds effectively as well as looking good under trees, although you may have to pull clumps out from time to time to keep them contained.
Good varieties include ‘Rozanne Blue’, ‘Johnson’s Blue’ and ‘Wargrave Pink’. The soft mound shapes need partners with strong outlines such as phormiums or irises.
These hardy perennials are also used as groundcover, on banks, between shrubs or under roses.
What To Do This Week
Continue to plant out vegetables including runner beans, cabbage, sprouting broccoli and celery
Sow courgettes, pumpkins and squashes directly into their growing position Lift and dry Japanese onions Plant out, water and feed outdoor tomatoes, peppers and aubergines
Support new growth of dahlias and feed with a liquid fertiliser
Water hydrangeas with a solution of colourant to ensure blue varieties remain blue next season and to encourage pink ones to turn blue where soil conditions are not naturally acid
Keep the pond balanced, covering around a half to two thirds of the surface area with floating plants like water lilies
Recycle grass clippings, composting them in a bin or using them as a mulch round trees and bushes
Pinch out the tips of trailing plants in hanging baskets to make them branch out and pick off dead flowers every few days
Trim back rose stems that have finished flowering to a point just above a leaf, to encourage the formation of new growth and a late flush of flowers