Jobs to do in the soggy garden this weekend | Brian Kidd
Our gardening expert sets you to work.
•Most gardening books recommend pruning Autumn Bliss raspberries in February but here in the south canes can be cut down to soil level, and this can be done as soon as the canes have finished fruiting. After pruning, a top dressing of well-rotted manure is applied all over the bed, a four-inch layer is perfect.
•Lots of leaves are now falling. Are you making leaf mould? Put 12in layers in large old compost bags turned inside out. After each layer sprinkle on one part urine to seven parts water and sprinkle, don’t pour. Do this after each 12in later. Leaf mould will be ready in 12 months. Leaf mould is the best peat substitute.
•Take off every rose leaf with black spot disease and bin them. Pick up all fallen leaves too and give the roses a spray with copper mixture dissolved in water. Spray the bushes and the surface of the soil too. Use the strength recommended for copper deficiency.
•Plant a few narcissus bulbs in a flower pot in John Innes No2 or 3 compost and put them in the greenhouse for an early display. When in bloom in February, they will cheer up the lounge.
•Pick off yellowing leaves on all types of cabbage but in particular Brussels sprouts. This encourage a flow of air below the crown of the plants and reduces the disease which causes sprouts to rot.
•Plant crocus corms any time between now and December. Choose separate colours, don’t buy mixed because from a distance, the white flowers look as if someone has dropped litter in the drift of flowers.
•You have probably lifted your potatoes, allowed them to dry in the wind before half filling potato sacks. Check them this week to ensure there are no rotten tubers in the bags. If you smell a strange smell in the shed – it’s rotting potatoes.