Garden chores | February 12

  • 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.
  • Spent gladioli can be lifted once the foliage has yellowed. 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.
  • Last year’s cyclamen bulb often produces new flowers. 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.