This week in the garden
Fionnuala Fallon’s tips for this week’s tasks
Sow seeds of colourful, unusual cut-and-come-again salad leaves this week
Defend young and emerging plants from slugs and snails. Photograph: Richard Johnston
l Sow seeds of colourful, unusual cut-and-come-again salad leaves such as the crimson-leaved Amaranthus tricolour, Kale “Red Russian” and the multicoloured Chard “Bright Lights” to give you a summer salad that looks as beautiful as it tastes.
l Make sure that container-grown plants are well watered. If you have to leave them untended for a few days, then place a saucer of water underneath the pot to prevent it from drying out.
l Indoors, sow seeds of tender vegetables such as courgettes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and French beans, to transplant outdoors after the last frosts.
l Defend young and emerging plants from slugs by drowning the latter in beer traps, slicing them with secateurs or even impaling them with a knitting needle and then dunking them in boiling water. Nematodes (try Nemaslug from mrmiddleton.com) or environmentally acceptable iron-based slug pellets (try Ferramol, from fruithillfarm.com) will also control slugs, but not snails. With the latter, crush them underfoot – grisly but effective.
l Sow seed of annuals such as pot marigolds, nasturtiums, Ammi majus and annual clary (Salvia viridis). Not only will they give a welcome zing of colour in late summer/early autumn but they’ll also attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects to your garden.