The weather is already starting to get hotter but I’m not ready to abandon my garden yet! Are there any ways I can “extend the season” and stay outdoors a few weeks longer? Edna, 29
If you do not have a shade structure like a pergola or gazebo that can have fans, build one. Having a fan can make a big difference and shade structures will reduce the heat (keeping in mind that your shade structure should be completely water-proof and sun-proof). Consider installing a moveable misting fan or even a misting line to cool off your seating area (though the former would require an inlet for water). And if you have a pool, set the pump to maintain a temperature of 28˚ to 30˚C.
I’ve recently discovered that slugs are eating my flowers. How can I get rid of these nasty little pests? Amal, 45
Surprisingly, you don’t necessarily need to visit a garden centre for a solution. Try these chemical-free tricks: Every night for two weeks, fill jar lids with beer and place them at the base of affected plants. Slugs are attracted to the smell, and once they drink it they will die. Just be sure to empty the lids of both the beer and the slugs every morning! Budweiser has been found to be the most effective beer brand to use, but Kingsbury Malt Beverage, a non-alcoholic brew, also has great results. You can also go the direct route and simply pour salt on them; it will dehydrate and kill them quickly.