Garden chores | February 13

  • Spent gladioli can be lifted once the foliage has yellowed – usually about six weeks after flowering. Any small cormlets that have developed can be saved for planting out in nursery beds from late winter on to mature in two years time.
  • It you placed last winter’s cyclamen under summer shelter, check for new leaf growth. If so, it might be worth repotting for a second season’s bloom. Leave the top quarter of the corm exposed at soil level and water by standing the pot in a dish to take up moisture by capillary action. Don’t over water – wet corms will soon rot away.
  • Don’t feed plants with granulated chemical fertilisers in hot weather when the risk of burning roots and/or foliage is high. Better to select organic food in the form of compost, liquid plant food and manures.
  • Mist spray the flowers on bean crops for a better pod set. Pinch out the tips of cucumber and pumpkin vines after the seventh set of leaves to encourage the lateral growth that bears the fruit.

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