Gardening jobs for the weekend with Brian Kidd

Solent Wight garlic from... the Isle of Wight.
Solent Wight garlic from... the Isle of Wight.
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From greenhouse-cleaning to planting garlic.

•Plant garlic if you live here in the south. Split the bulbs into segments called pips. Plant in well-drained ground, a place where manure was incorporated last year. A very good one is Solent Wight which is grown commercially on the good ‘ole Isle of Wight.

•Sow seeds of Virginian stocks or night-scented stock at the front of a border. They are hardy and will provide short plants about eight inches tall with small perfumed flowers next summer.

•Save egg cartons so when seed potatoes are ready to be set up you will have plenty of trays to keep them upright. They’ll be in garden centres in January.

•Clean the glass on the outside of the greenhouse. There are glass cleaners especially produced for this job or Flash, the floor cleaner, is also good.

•Put up polythene bubbled insulation in the greenhouse. Choose a dull day so you don’t get too hot or uncomfortable with the sun in your eyes.

•Plastic fixings can be purchased for this job, made specially for metal glasshouses but drawing pins and cardboard squares can be used in wooden structures.

•Remove weeds from alpine plants and afterwards top dress the soil’s surface with stone chipping. This prevents heart rot and keeps mud off the foliage.

•Buy seeds of fragrant exhibition sweet peas. They are often sown in November by serious growers. You will see if they are perfumed. It will say so on the seed packet. Exhibition types have long stems.

•Cut off leaves on wallflowers which have powdery mildew. Don’t leave the pieces lying around.