Gardening: Weekend Work

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The Independent Culture
AS THE weather heats up, greenhouses need dampening down. High humidity discourages red spider which is a difficult pest to eradicate once it is established. Artificial shading, such as Coolglass, will also be necessary on greenhouses in full sun.

CORDON FRUIT trees, like espaliers and fans, have a habit of throwing out shoots where you do not want them. Pinch out any that are pointing towards the wall or are too close together.

CHECK FOR greenfly on roses and other known resting-places. Ladybirds are now active, so if you spray, use one specifically designed for aphids.

SOW SHIRLEY poppies, morning glory, love-in-a-mist, night-scented stock, eschscholzia, clarkia and cornflower outside where they are to flower. Rake the soil carefully to make a fine tilth and firm it with the back of a rake before sowing. Cover very lightly with earth.

CATS LOVE new seedbeds. So do sparrows. If either are likely to invade, cover newly sown seeds with wire netting or twiggy sticks.

PUT IN Brussels sprout plants. Choose plants that have been grown in the open if possible. They make straighter, tougher plants than those from trays.

SPLIT UP large clumps of primrose and polyanthus, tearing the clumps into separate crowns with roots. Replant the pieces in fresh ground with a bit of bonemeal to speed them on their way. Seeds of either can also be sown now in pots of compost. Cover the pots with inverted empty pots, to let in enough light and air for the seeds to germinate but prevent the compost from drying out.