GARDENING: Jobs for the weekend with Brian Kidd

Now's the time to take six-inch cuttings of indoor pelargoniums.
Now's the time to take six-inch cuttings of indoor pelargoniums.
Charles Weatherby, 80, with his agave plant in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells

This giant 15ft spike has become Portsmouth's weirdest new local attraction

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Everything from pelargonium cuttings to budding roses this week.

•Take cuttings about six inches long from indoor pelargoniums (geraniums) of all kinds. Leave just one pair of leaves and the growing tip and cut just below a leaf joint. Insert in a sandy cutting medium and rooting should take place in less than a month. Keep the cuttings shaded and moist.

•This is the best time to take cuttings of all types of shrubs. Take off the sideshoots of any kind of them –  yes, even camellias. Put the cuttings in a sandy compost mix in the shade and they will root in about three weeks.

•Bud roses on to rose stocks planted last October. If you have never budded roses before and you like a challenge, get hold of a good book on how to propagate plants. Propagation is very rewarding. When successful, you feel great!

•Make sure you keep new plants well watered, especially during this prolonged dry spell. Try to use grey water, and hoe off weeds, which thrive in the sunshine.

•Do you need to replace the strawberry bed? This is the time to put three-inch diameter pots filled with compost into the soil close to where you see strawberry runners. Peg the tips of the runners into the compost by using wreath wires bent over like hairpins and the runners root in a few weeks. •You will then be in a position to plant the new plants where you want them and at a time to suit you. Strawberry plants in pots can be planted at any time. Find the plants which produced the best fruit, the ones with red leaves are not good enough to propagate.You may be surprised at the size of the berries on the new plants. It makes all this effort worthwhile.

•After enjoying rose blooms as cut flowers, remove the dead head and all the leaves apart from the top pair. Cut below the lowest joint on each stem. Place the stems in the greenhouse in a pottery vase (not a glass one)  –  the bases of the stems need to be in the dark but the leaves must be in the light. Once the roots appear, fill the container with vermiculite to, this will encourage masses of new roots, pot each rooted cutting into four-inch diameter pots and plant out next spring.

•Got a question for Brian? Click here and fire away.