GARDENING: Brian Kidd's jobs for the bank holiday weekend

The voice of gardening for The News sets you to work.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 1:04 am
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:17 pm
The red spider mite.

Plant spring hearting cabbages in rows two feet apart, the plants only nine inches apart. Every other one can be thinned in winter to provide fresh greens. Have you seen sternbergia bulbs in packets? These gems look like golden crocus but flower in the autumn. There's still time to find some. Outdoor amaryllis and colchicum bulbs are in at garden centres. These will flower in the autumn. When digging potatoes, cut the haulms down to four inches. Put them in a wheelbarrow. The less they are thrown around, the less chance of spreading potato blight. See where you can get some manure. Leave it in bags until November when it will be ready to dig in. Keep an eye out for scorching on runner beans' lower leaves '“ the work of red spider mites. Spray with red spider liquid insecticide in the late evening. Spray the backs of the leaves '“ that's where the pests lurk. Go out into the garden an hour after darkness falls and take a torch. You will be surprised at how many slugs are out there. You know what to do, don't chuck them over the wall. They will come back. If you struggle with clay soil, a raised bed will help. On a vegetable area they are a boon but in ornamental garden log rolls are often forgotten which is a pity because if the clay can be covered with bags of compost, it is far easier to manage the garden. Log rolls give flexibility and attractive curved lines look better than straight lines. Buy grass seed to oversow patches, Put 1lb of seed to 10lb of seed compost into a black polythene bag and leave it for a week. After rain, any time between now and the middle of September, prick over the lawn and scatter on grass seed compost mix. The germinating seeds will fall into the holes.

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