Weekend Work: Time to protect against slugs

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The Independent Online

What to do

New spears of hosta are well above ground and need protection against slugs. Polyanthus is also getting chewed. Between slugs and sparrows they have a hard time.

Thin out flowering shoots of mophead hydrangeas, cutting a few of the scraggier stems out at ground level.

Plant potatoes of the "first early" kind, provided they have already produced good sprouts. In a decorative potager, the first-early 'Red Duke of York' produces handsome foliage deeply suffused with purple.

Tired box hedges can be boosted with a dressing of fertiliser. Use roughly two ounces for every metre of hedge. If box hedges have got hideously leggy, try cutting them back hard. Feed when they show signs of resprouting. They may not.

Continue to sow seed of tomatoes and basil, natural companions. In the past, I have enjoyed 'Golden Cherry' (Marshalls £2.65) which produces wonderfully flavoured yellow cherry tomatoes. Order on 01480 443390 or at marshalls-seeds.co.uk.

What to see

At London's Garden Museum, writer and radio producer Tim Dee asks "What are 'natural' landscapes?", and is "rewilding" just gardening by another name? Wednesday's talk is at 7pm. For tickets (£15) call 020-7401 8865 or see gardenmuseum.eventbrite.com.