Isn’t it amazing how a tiny cabbage white butterfly can find the smallest cabbage plant!! I blinked and my newly planted Brussels sprout plants had nearly completely disappeared under a mass of crawling caterpillars, do you remember that hungry caterpillar story? The best and most environmentally friendly way of preventing this infestation is to cover the plant before the butterfly lays her eggs on your brassica. Only a small mesh will stop the butterfly getting through, good old Agralan enviromesh is the best product and of course the most expensive to buy, it is so good and strong it will last you years, therefore great value for money. Another alternative is to spray with a bug killer, there are loads on the market. Bayer Provado bug killer is one of the best. The other option is to pick off the caterpillars or destroy the eggs on the underside of the leaf before they hatch.

We have got young vegetable plants in stock Purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, cabbage etc. When planting them in the garden give them plenty of water and protect from pigeons and cabbage white butterfly. You should be able to crop these plants late Autumn and during the winter.

We have also got our seed potatoes in for planting now to crop at Christmas! These can be planted in containers now outside and brought into a greenhouse or light shed just before the frost. They should grow on in a cool house and produce a great crop of Home grown potatoes to compliment your local grown turkey! And Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, leeks etc etc.

I was speaking to a great friend the other day, she said to me that when she goes into a Garden Centre (not being a great gardener) she feels completely bemused and loses all self-confidence and doesn’t know where to start or what to ask, therefore she misses out on a great hobby and relaxation! Please, please no one must feel like that, we love talking gardens and spreading the word! All our team are always here to help and encourage anyone who has an interest. I love any excuse to get out of the office!

I went to Kew Gardens with Sheena last Tuesday!! Bit of a tree geek I am afraid. Since I was last there my favourite tree the Quercus castaneifolia, chestnut leaved oak has had some major surgery and lost some limbs. This tree is the largest tree in the gardens and the quickest growing it was planted in 1846, they originate from the Alborz Mountains in Iran.

I couldn’t get used to the planes overhead though, another runway at Heathrow and the trees will be shaking!

Anyway have a great weekend, the Real Ale and food at the Crown in Weston is wonderful!

Regards

Ashley

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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