Weekend Work: Clear runner beans and French beans off vegetable plots

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The Independent Online

What to do

Runner beans and French beans that have cropped to exhaustion (or stringiness) should now be cleared off vegetable plots.

Globe artichokes with new growth may need protection against frost.

Where summer bedding looks tired, remove it so that the ground can be cleaned and fed ready for spring bulbs.

Fill windowboxes with fresh compost before replanting with winter pansies or bulbs. Ivy is an elegant gap filler for winter months.

Most apples and pears should now have been picked. Temperature is the most critical factor in successful storage. It should be between 36-41F. Somewhere dark and slightly damp will be ideal.

Let house plants drift into semi-dormancy. Cut down on feeding (once a month is plenty) and watering, but keep the atmosphere round the plants slightly humid by misting over leaves.

Shading should be washed off greenhouses and an insulating film of bubble polythene fixed in its place.

What to see.

The Bramley, everyone's favourite cooking apple, is celebrating its 200th birthday. It was raised by Mary Ann Brailsford who had it in her garden at Church Street, Southwell, Notts. Southwell is celebrating today with a series of displays and food stalls in the village. For further information call 01636 819038 or go to the website at southwell council.com/events

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