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This Week in the Garden

What to Do This Week

 

It is time to hard-prune late-flowering shrubs, such as caryopteris, buddleia davidii (butterfly bush), leycesteria and lavatera, but delay for another 3-4 weeks in cold weather.

The popular silver-leafed pear tree Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' has wiry, weeping branches that tangle into a bird's nest if left unpruned. You can take advantage of this habit and trim it into a dense, topiarised 'mophead', after its April flowering. But march is the best time to prune

Sow broad beans in double rows or blocks outdoors, spacing beans 8in-9in apart, 1.5in deep.

Thinking ahead to an exotic and colourful Hallowe'en, order seeds of unusual pumpkins, squashes and gourds now, for sowing soon.

In warmer areas spray Peaches and Nectarines to help control Peach leaf curl.

When choosing fruit trees, remember that apple, apricot, and pear trees need two varieties present to ensure pollination. If space is limited, try peach, nectarine, or sour cherry, which will bear fruit on a single tree.

Check plants under glass and new shoots outdoors for signs of aphids, which are easily destroyed between finger and thumb.

Keep the blades set high for early spring mowings

Water African violets from the bottom, avoiding getting any water on the leaves. Dust the leaves with a small, soft brush.

Where the season is prematurely warm but also dry, do not be tempted to water established garden plants. Early dryness may just save them from breaking buds only to be hit by frosts later on.

Re-pot houseplants so they will grow well during spring and summer.

 



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