• This is the best time to buy in surfinia petunias, scaevola, ivy-leafed geraniums and the other gems we all enjoy growing in baskets and tubs. These can all be propagated by keeping them warm in a propagator. Pinch out the plants’ tips and they will produce several side shoots. Cuttings a few inches long can be taken to increase the number of plants you need.
• If you have space, tomato plants can now be planted in the greenhouse in growing bags, just three to a bag. A bottomless 10in diameter pot placed over the top of the hole cut in the growing bag for the plant and filled with compost is a good idea because it makes correct watering a lot easier.
• Have some horticultural fleece handy for those late-season frosts we’re having. A sharp one will penetrate the glass if there is no heat in the glasshouse.
• Sow seeds in the greenhouse of rapid-growing plants such as French marigolds and Zinnias.
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• Take some of the hardier bedding plants out into a cold frame but cover the top with carpet if frosts are likely.
• Trim hedges as soon as new growth starts and plan to cut them every six weeks. It takes far less time to cut hedges if this nasty job is done regularly.
• Sow seeds outdoors of beetroot, mid-season Brussels sprouts and late cauliflower.
• Earth up early potatoes using well-rotted compost. Water the plants regularly to avoid potato scab. Moist soil helps prevent potato scab.
• Watch out for greenfly on roses and blackfly on broad beans. Use aphid control liquid in the late evening to control these pests.
• Don’t clean up all the little bits around the garden, the birds will pick them up for nesting material.
• Make sure garden chairs and tables are clean. We will be able to sit out in the garden soon!