Gardening jobs for the weekend with Brian Kidd

Our expert lines up some work to be getting on with in the next couple of days.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 8:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2018, 9:29 pm
Check your greenhouse heater is working.

If your grape hyacinth flowers have become small dig them all out. Spread the bulbs on a large piece of carpet and find the big ones. Plant these again in a new place scattering on Vitax Q4 fertiliser where they are to be planted. Rake it in. Replant and the flowers will be large next spring. Take the tiny ones to a recycling centre or plant in a '˜wild area' but not in the countryside. Check the greenhouse heater to ensure it will work when needed. Keep picking over dead flowers and leaves in the greenhouse to prevent fungal problems. Water indoor plants less frequently. Touch the compost and water only when the surface feels dry. Do some winter digging. Incorporate manure or compost where potatoes, peas and beans will go. Remove yellowing leaves on Brussels sprouts. Keep the ground firm and use canes to support the plants if you garden in a windy area. Prick the soil over around spring hearting cabbages and hand pick caterpillars or dust with Pyrethrum powder if you can't find the pests. Sort out the strawberry bed. If the strawberry plants are old, there are plants at garden centres. Why not buy a strawberry barrel, no more weeding through the strawberry bed. Use John Innes No3 compost for a strawberry barrel. Loamless compost is not suitable. Pick up fallen leaves and put them into large former compost bags turned inside out so that you are looking at black bags. Use one part urine to seven parts water each time you put in a 12in layer of leaves. Close the top of the bag and put a piece of paving stone on top. This makes leaf mould in a year. Hand-weed between wallflowers because chickweed soon smothers them. Chickweed grows very fast indeed in October because it is absorbing nitrogen from the soil. Nitrogen is the element that makes plants grow and chickweed prevents nitrogen from being washed into the subsoil. Chickweed is full of nitrogen therefore it is a good idea to compost it as long as it isn't in flower. If in flower, the seeds form when in the compost bin and will grow again when the compost is used as a top dressing.'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise