Gardening jobs this week, with Brian Kidd

Garden furniture being treated with preservative.
Garden furniture being treated with preservative.
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Our horticultural hotshot sets you to work in the garden.

•Keep cutting the grass. It’s much easier and quicker if done regularly. If the grass is sometimes a bit too wet, drag a stiff broom behind you all over the surface. This makes the water droplets fall on to the soil. An hour later the grass will be easier to cut.

•If you are intending to treat wooden garden furniture with a preservative to restore its quality, choose the correct product. Ensure the wood is dry before starting work otherwise moisture is locked in.

•Buy some fragrant, long-stemmed exhibition sweet pea seeds ready to sow next month. They are more expensive but if you love perfumed sweet peas it’s worth paying a bit more.

•Try to get hedges trimmed before the cold winds arrive. Good news is that this will be the last trim needed this year.

•Keep mentioning that an electric hedge trimmer would be a good idea to your wife’s best friend and your wife might buy one for you for Christmas.

•Take a lot more care about watering the greenhouse. From now on until the spring, watering is best done in the mornings. Take care not to splash it around as wet conditions will encourage fungal problems.

•If you are going to take geranium plants into the greenhouse to overwinter, cut them back hard and remove every leaf. Dust the cut ends with sulphur powder to prevent stem rot. This will enable you to store them closer together to save space.

•In the greenhouse, keep a small area warmer by dividing the greenhouse with bubbled polythene sheeting.

•Try to get some more digging done. Bear in mind it is a good idea to complete winter digging before Christmas –  I wish I could.

•Plant a horse chestnut conker and a walnut in a pot and next year plant it somewhere so that the children in 30 years can get the nuts without breaking windows!​​​​​​​​​​​​​