Gardening jobs for this weekend, weather permitting – Brian Kidd

You CAN have an azalea which looks like this.
You CAN have an azalea which looks like this.
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Last call for tulip-planting.

If you feel you won’t be able to succeed with potted azaleas, think again. These gems will do well in your home. Choose one with just one or two flowers open with lots of buds at the tips of the stems which will bloom in the coming weeks. They love rain water. Keep the plants in a light, cold place just a few degrees above freezing in a window but not in direct sun.

The colder weather is doing a great job breaking down clods of soil which were dug over a few weeks ago. Keep off newly-dug soil otherwise the surface will be sticky and cling to your shoes.

Try to get tulip bulbs in during the next few days. This is an excellent time to plant them because they are far less likely to be damaged by slugs. The cold weather induces slugs to sleep for a while.

Leaves towards the base of Brussels sprouts  continue to look brown or yellow at the base of the plants. Take them off and put them on the compost heap.

Brussels sprouts which look as if they are rotting will recover in spring. The rotting is because of the very wet weather we had in October. In March, the ones which look as if they were rotten will burst out into Brussels sprout rosettes which are delicious, just as good as spring cabbage.

Spring cabbages which should be ready for picking in May need protection form pigeons and slugs. Get nets for the pigeons and pellets for the slugs. The nets will stop the birds getting the pellets.

Plants of the lettuce called Rosetta sown in the cold greenhouse eight weeks ago and recommended by me, are now ready to be potted into five-inch diameter pots in John Innes No2 compost. Add 10 per cent extra sharp sand or sharp grit, mix well together and don’t over-water the plants. If the weather remains mild, you willhave l ettuce for Christmas.

Have you taken down the runner bean canes yet? No? Neither have I, but mean to do it this week with a bit of luck!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​