Gardening: Jobs for the week with Brian Kidd (March 27)
If you’ve got plenty of ‘gardening leave’ at the moment, Brian’s list of tasks should keep you occupied in the week ahead.
• In the greenhouse or indoors, plant some gloxinia corms. Use 5in diameter pots. Any potting compost is suitable to grow these easy-to-grow, exotic-looking plants.
• This is a good time to split clumps of nerine bulbs. Remove groups of five and replant these in another part of the garden making sure only half the depth of the bulb is below the surface of the soil. They love a sunny place and the books tell us they prefer well-drained soil, but at home they are in soil which remains wet most of the winter, but they are in a sunny place.
• Scatter blood fish and bonemeal where seeds will be sown in 10 days. Rake this fertiliser into the top three to four inches of soil as soon as it is applied.
• See if you can find little plants of the Brussels sprouts which are called Cromwell. This variety has replaced the best early one called Peer Gynt. If you can't find seedlings at your garden centre grow some from seeds. • Seeds can be planted now, but sow them in insert cells. When they are large enough to plant into rows remember, two-and-a-half feet is the minimum distance between the plants and the soil must be firm. These sprouts will be ready to pick in early September and will last until November, if you buy enough plants.
• Isn’t it annoying to see all weeds appearing on the ground we dug earlier in the season? Don’t walk all over the soil. Put down a plank and walk on it to prevent over-compaction of the soil before hoeing or perhaps you can carefully spray the weeds with Weedol, this saves a lot of work but don’t allow the drift to go on to other folks’ crops or on to plants you need to grow.
• Move snowdrops and winter aconites as soon as the flowers fade. You will also see them advertised ‘in the green’ in adverts at the back of gardening magazines, only £10 per 100 seedlings.
• There is still time to prune bush roses. Prune the branches down to where you see a strong-looking shoot which is pointing away from the stem, not towards the centre of the bush.