Gardening: Jobs for this weekend | Brian Kidd

Save your egg boxes for propping up seed potatoes.
Save your egg boxes for propping up seed potatoes.
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From planting garlic to collecting egg boxes.

• Even if you don’t have a garden, narcissus bulbs can be planted in pots now. Don’t force them. Pot them five in a five-inch diameter pot. Moisten the compost and leave outside in the open. They will flower early spring next year. If you would like a really good display, plant two layers one on top of the other. A mass of blooms will emerge all at the same time.

• Plant garlic as long as you live here in the south. Split the bulbs into segments called pips. Plant in well-drained ground, a place where manure was incorporated last year.

• Sow seeds of Virginian or night-scented stocks at the front of a border. They are hardy and will provide short plants about eight inches tall with small perfumed flowers next summer.

• Save egg cartons so when seed potatoes are ready to be set up, you will have plenty of egg trays in which to keep them upright. Seed potatoes will be in garden centres in January.

• Put up polythene bubbled insulation in the greenhouse. Choose a dull day to prevent becoming too hot or being uncomfortable because of the sun in your eyes. Plastic fixings can be bought for this job, made especially for metal glasshouses. But drawing pins and cardboard squares can be used in wooden structures.

• Remove weeds from between alpine plants and afterwards top dress the soil’s surface with stone chippings to prevent heart rot and keep mud off the foliage.

• Buy seeds of fragrant exhibition sweet peas. They are often sown in November by serious growers. You will see if they are perfumed. It will say so on the seed packet. Exhibition types have long stems.

• Cut off leaves on wallflowers which have powdery mildew. Don’t leave the pieces lying around.