Weekend Work: Time to get rid of weeds
Saturday 09 October 2010
What to do
Weeds are growing fast in earth that is still warm. Bury them by mulching thickly with compost, or cut them off with a sharp hoe. Watch out for bindweed among permanent plantings of shrubs or between soft fruit such as raspberries and blackcurrants. Glyphosate kills it, but you may need to persevere with more than one application.
Scrub greenhouses inside and out with a disinfectant that will shift pests that thought they had winter board and lodging there. Scrape moss gently away from greenhouse roofs.
Plant daffodil bulbs to naturalise in grass. The best tool for this job is a long-handled bulb planter. The bulb goes in the hole, is sealed up with the plug and miraculously heaves its way through to the light in spring.
A lengthy trial of bulbs for naturalising at RHS Wisley showed that the deep yellow 'Golden Harvest', creamy white 'Mount Hood' and the pink tinged 'Mrs RO Backhouse' all continue to flower well after 10 years in the ground.
In a wild flower meadow, less blatant types are called for. Stick to species or near-species such as the Tenby daffodil, Narcissus obvallaris (£13 per 100 from Parkers) or 'February Gold' (£11.50 per 100). Bonemeal will help them compete on more equal terms with grass.
Puschkinia and Anemone blanda will also naturalise very successfully and should be planted as soon as possible. Puschkinia can be planted in short grass, rockeries, or in a border.
Pot up rooted cuttings of zonal and ivy-leaved pelargoniums, so that the plants have a chance to develop a decent root system before winter sets in. Use a 9cm (3.5in) pot; firm the compost down round the cuttings.
Lift main crop carrots and store them in buckets of damp sand in a cool place inside. Some varieties like 'Chantenay' and 'Autumn King' stand well in the ground, but may need a loose mulch of straw later on.
What to see
Gardens to visit this weekend include the Tatton Garden Society's Quinta Arboretum, Swettenham, Cheshire CW12 2LD, where some of the 5,000 trees are already showing autumn colours. Open tomorrow (12-4pm), admission £5, tattongardensociety.co.uk. In Derbyshire, check out 180 hanging baskets and other displays in the Meynell Langley Trials Garden at Lodge Lane, Derby DE6 4NT. Open daily (10am-5pm) until the end of October, admission £2.50. Call Robert or Karen Walker on 01332 824358
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