Gardening: Here's your list of weekend jobs courtesy of Brian Kidd

Weather’s set fair so here’s another excuse to get outside and take much-needed exercise.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 2:08 pm
Harvesting potatoes.

• Repair bald patches in the lawn as soon as we have rain. Prick the surface so there are dozens of holes 1in apart and 2in deep ready for a top dressing of seed and compost. Mix 1lb of best-quality grass seed to 10lb of moistened seed compost. Leave the mixture in a black polythene bag for seven to 10 days. You’ll see the seed produce tiny roots. Scatter the mix over the patches and water in. New grass will form in about six weeks. Water if dry.

• Take advantage of the dry spell to plant maincrop potatoes. Make sure the tubers are covered with at least 5in of soil. Scatter blood fish and bone fertiliser along the rows using 3oz per yard run and work this into the surface. Finish by leaving a ridge of soil over the rows of planted tubers. When earthing up, try to use sieved compost but to each barrowload of compost add 1lb of sulphate of potash well mixed with the compost. This reduces slug damage. The potash burns the slugs.

• Ground dug over in autumn may now be smothered with chickweed and other rapidly growing annual weeds. Walk on a plank and spray the weeds with Weedol. This will kill them in a few days but needs to be done before the weeds flower. Try to do this on a sunny day for the most rapid results and don’t allow any drift to touch cultivated plants – especially the neighbours’!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

• Antirrhinum and stocks already pricked out into seed trays can be put outside now because they are fairly hardy. Have some fleece ready to cover them if the nights are cold.

• Buy seeds of perennials. Most gardeners sow perennials in early May in seed trays in the greenhouse.

• Think about fixing an automatic ventilator in the roof light in the greenhouse. They can be really useful, especially when you’re on holiday.