Gardens: Weekend Work

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The Independent Culture
THE KITCHEN windowsill is satisfyingly full of pots of germinated seeds. Cobaea, statice, rudbeckia, verbena, stocks, are all through. Next to be sown will be basil and tomatoes: `Sunset', an orange cherry tomato (Mr Fothergill, pounds 1.90p), and `Alicante' (Unwins 99p), both suitable for growing out of doors.

PERFECTIONISTS MAY like to spray apple and pear trees against scab, if there are no more pressing tasks to hand. Scab is a blemish rather than a threat. Trees will not die because of it. Dithane 945 (pbi), which contains mancozeb, will do the job.

MOSS HAS had a field day on lawns after this wet, dreary winter. If you cannot learn to love it, hire a scarifier and sweat the weekend away tearing the stuff out of your lawn. The lazier option is to treat the lawn with a chemical moss-killer. There are grass medicines that feed grass, kill weeds and control moss all in one go, but you should not start using them until April.

INDOOR PLANTS may need potting on. Find out by knocking them gently out of their pots and examining their rootballs. If there is a solid mass of root showing round the outside of the compost, the plant needs a larger pot. Do not suppose that, by giving a plant a pot twice as big, you will make it twice as happy. One size larger will be plenty. If there is too much spare compost in the pot, it gets soggy and the plant's roots rot. If the plants are not pot-bound, then put them back in their old pots and start to feed them instead.

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