Ways to keep those pesky furry pests out of the garden

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The other day, I wandered up the garden to find that some of my favourite emerging phlox had been razed to the ground.

Pick: off the dead flowerheads of rhododendrons and azaleas

Recycle: grass cuttings, composting them or using as a mulch around trees and bushes

Plant out: dahlias and chrysanthemums raised from cuttings, staking them to support the stems as they grow

Feed: flowering plants and shrubs with a general fertiliser, hoeing it into the soil and water in if the weather remains dry

Sow: a few seeds of salad crops like lettuce and radish every fortnight during summer

Plant out: ridge cucumbers in cold frames

Pinch out: the soft tips of broad bean plants to reduce the risk of blackfly