Weekend work: Time to take cuttings from tender perennials


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The Independent Online

What to do

* Take cuttings from tender perennials such as fuchsia, geranium, helichrysum, osteospermum and felicia. Overwinter them in a greenhouse or a similar shelter.

* Start planting daffodil bulbs. They always look better set in groups rather than dotted about singly. If you are planting in grass, choose a spot where the dying daffodil leaves and the ever-lengthening grass will not irritate you to the extent that you cut the grass too soon.

* Cut off and dry seed heads from alliums, Chinese lantern, honesty and poppies and hang them upside down to dry for winter decorations. Peel off the outer coats of the honesty discs to reveal the silvery central membrane.

* House plants need less food and water as growth slows down. Tuberous rooted begonias and gloxinias should be laid on their sides in a cool greenhouse.

* The heavy dews and still air of early autumn may encourage attacks of mildew on Michaelmas daisies, new growth of rose bushes and young forget-me-not plants. Spray with fungicide to keep this unsightly disease under control.

What to buy

* Allotment groups and specialist growers will be bringing seeds to Kew's country garden, Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, for a Seed Festival on Saturday 28 September (11am-5pm). You can bring your own seed to swap and also take a tour of the Millenium Seed Bank based at the garden. For more details, call 01444 894066 or go to kew.org/visit-wakehurst