Cuttings: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
FALLEN leaves should not be allowed to lie long on lawns. Rake them up and pack them into a wire-netting clamp or into polythene sacks, where they will rot into an excellent leafmould mulch; burning is a waste. Then rake and spike the grass, and give it what may be its last cut of the year. Leaves are bad for garden pools, too - the water becomes dank and starves fish of air - so catch leaves on netting stretched over the pond.

I am happy to save sweet pea sowing until spring, but if you like to be ahead of the game, start seeds off in pots inside now and overwinter them in a cold frame or cool greenhouse. They must be well protected against slugs and mice. Those with greenhouses can continue to sow lettuce for winter cropping. Use a variety such as 'Cynthia' (Unwins, pounds 1.45) that you can sow from October until the end of January.

Those who take good care of their fruit trees should put greasebands around trunks and stakes to trap the crawling, wingless winter months whose progeny may cause havoc next season.