Cuttings: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
THE KITCHEN windowsill is satisfyingly full of pots of germinated seeds. Cobaea, statice, rudbeckia and verbena are all through. Next to be sown will be basil and tomatoes, 'The Amateur' (Unwins, 79p) and 'Sungold' (Thompson & Morgan, pounds 2.29), both suitable for growing out of doors.

Perfectionists might like to spray apple and pear treees against scab, if no more pressing tasks are to hand. Scab is a blemish rather than a threat. Trees will not die because of it. Benlate (ICI) or Dithane 945 (pbi) will do the job.

Moss has had a field day after this wet, dreary winter. If you cannot learn to love it, hire a scarifier and sweat the weekend away tearing the stuff out. The lazier option is to treat the lawn with a chemical mosskiller. Grass Hopper (ICI) feeds grass, kills weeds and controls moss all in one go, but do not start using it until April.

Indoor plants may need potting on. Knock them gently out of their pots and examine their rootballs; if a solid mass of root is showing round the outside of the compost, the plant needs a larger pot. Do not suppose that putting a plant in a pot twice as big 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 potbound, put them back in their old pots and start to feed them instead.

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