MAY is the month of flowers and
it is also the month of pests, but however necessary the various insecticides may be to the professional, and to those gardening on a large scale, it is still possible for the owner of a small garden to keep a check on the various slugs, ants and aphids by those timehonoured means that still allow the birds and bees and butterflies' to have their share and do their bit. One of the best of these defences against green-fly is to go round every evening with a jar full of soapy water and remove the fly from the unopened rose buds with thumb and forefinger: but of course the best enemy of greenfly is the ladybird who not only feeds on them herself 'but lays eggs so that her grubs can do likewise. They should he encouraged in every garden and their eggs (small yellow ones, laid in clusters on the undersides of rose leaves) should be carefully protected.
Broad Beans should have their growing points pinched out as soon as black-fly makes its appearance, and these mist be burned at once; while cabbage caterpillars and their eggs (also laid on the backs of the leaves) can be picked off by hand. Derris dust, applied by hand rather than sprayed. is useful here. as on seedlings of turnips and radishes which are often attacked by the flea-beetle.
Slugs and snails and leatherjackets I will deal with next week. J.H.