GARDENING: Jobs for the weekend

You need to let your asparagus grow now - tall, ferny stems like these.
You need to let your asparagus grow now - tall, ferny stems like these.
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  Brian Kidd sets you to work.

•Stop cutting asparagus. Stems need to grow so the ferny leaves can send nutrients to the roots to encourage next year’s crop. Feed with blood, fish and bone. Fork into the soil and water afterwards.

•Sow calceolaria pot plant seed in the greenhouse. The beautiful balloon-like flowers will bloom next spring in a frost-free greenhouse.

•Enjoy strawberries from the garden but get into the habit of taking a bucket with you for weeds. Strawberries get smothered in weeds.

•Keep removing side shoots on tomatoes. If the bunches of fruits are heavy use twist ties to support the trusses on canes.

•Spray outdoor tomatoes and potatoes with copper mixture to PREVENT blight. I get my leg pulled because I warn of blight so often, but at least it proves you are reading these articles!

•Start thinning grapes. Wear a hat so your hair does not touch the fruit which spoils the ‘bloom’ on the skins.

•Spray the foliage of fruit trees with plain water in the late evening to PREVENT red spider mite.

•Cut back one in three runner bean vines so the ones cut back will shoot lower on the vines. This will prolong the crop, a good idea if you are short of space. If there are no flowers on the vines and they are up to the top of the canes, remove half the leaves, give them just one ounce of sulphate of potash, along every three yards of the row. Gently fork this in and water afterwards. The reason for non-flowering is that too much manure was put in the ground but this little trick will bring on the flowers.