Gardening Cuttings: Weekend work

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AS THE weather begins to warm up, greenhouses need damping down. High humidity discourages red spider, 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, such as 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, eschscholtzia, clarkia and cornflower outside. Rake the soil carefully to make a fine tilth and firm it with the back of a rake before sowing. Cover lightly with earth.

Cats love new seedbeds. So do sparrows. Cover newly sown seeds with wire netting or twiggy sticks. Continue to harden off bedding plants sown inside. Gardeners in the South could risk setting them out now. Risk is the operative word.