by L. J. KING
A WARNING was given last week to be on the look-out for the egg-patches of the cabbage
white butterfly. A severe attack is very likely this year. The caterpillars can eat ten times their own weight in a day, and they are found in thousands. A bad case will skeletonise all your plants, leaving only the bare midribs of the leaves. If you have a fair number of plants, you can spray with liquid dee is, and keep up the sprays till you feel you arc clear, If you have only a few plants, you may do just as well by forcibly injecting salty water into the plants by means of a garden syringe. If caterpillars fall out, pick them up for destroying.
I have seen earwigs (which are vegetarians, by the way) do fearful damage to autumn cauliflowers. Salty sprays often dislodge these, but the best control is to have traps for them in the shape of small flower pots or something similar, lined with dry straw or grass. Rap the creatures out daily and destroy
them. " Blindness " of cauliflowers may often be due to earwigs and woodlice, though sometimes it is caused by defects in the seed and by planting too deeply. Slugs can land must) he kept Irons autumn seedlings by means of soil dusting with slaked lime. Many garden pests can be prevented from running over into nest year by carefully destroying all infected plants now.
If you sprayed your tomato plants as and when advised you will almost certainly be free from potato blight on them now. To be quite on the safe side, however. especially if the weather is close and damp, you can give them another dose now. Any good copper spray will do; the old favourites arc Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures. Brown spots and slightly sunken pitches on the fruits that are hard and rather scabby arc not due to potato blight but to a disorder aggravated by potash deficiency. All fruits and sugary plants need a lot of potash, and we in Britain arc very short of potash. It can be supplied in proprietary tomato manures, as muriate or sulphate of potash, or in wood ashes burned slowly down to a grey powder. You need not normally destroy any of the fruits unless they are very unsightly. Give potash, and
spray just a bit in case you are mistaken in your diagnosis and as a preventative against potato blight. Remember that potato blight is soft. moist, rather transparent in the fruit and always horrid, and that it affects the leaves and stems too with blackish moist patches. In a bad case you will have to destroy the plant by burning it before the trouble spreads.
Indoor tomatoes are seldom affected by the foregoing. hut if poorly ventilated the leaves are mildewed and the fruits have the " black spot "—a flat, jet-black mould where the flower once was. Give fresh ail, feed plants bearing heavily. As disease preventatives, green sulphur on the leaves (or sulphide of potash on the leaves) and permanganate of potash watered into the soil in a faintly pink solution arc all good old standbys. Crispness ol the bottom leaves should not cause you much worry. It the foliage is absolutely useless it may he cut off : but personally I only cut off foliage where it is absolutely useless to the plant's processes. Choose and mark now the best fruits from the best trusses to give you seed for next year. Don't take them off yet.