This week 27 Oct 2006

  • If you have not got your own garden open to the public, then forget about staying at home this weekend and get out and gather ideas and enjoy those gardens that are open.
  • Alternatively, if you have got over the shock and disappointment of Labour Weekend’s weather, continue all the planting out in the vegetable garden which was meant to be done a week ago.
  • Pumpkins can be started on a mound comprised of layers of soil and lawn clippings. The decomposing grass generates heat which speeds up germination and initial growth considerably. Don’t make the heap too big or you may cook the seeds. A metre wide by 60cm high is about the right size.
  • Start deadheading rhododendrons as they finish flowering. This is important to stop the plant putting its energies into setting seed instead of new growth and next year’s flower buds.
  • Grape and tomato plants are very susceptible to hormone sprays at this time of the year, so be very careful if you are still using these types of sprays on your lawn.
  • If you want to grow watermelons and rock melons, this is really your last opportunity to start off seeds. They should have been started earlier but you may manage to force them under cover for planting out in six weeks time.
  • If you want seed from your clivias, you will get far more if you hand pollinate now. Find flowers on two different plants that stand out as good and use a child’s paintbrush to transfer the pollen from one flower to another on a different plant. They don’t self pollinate readily so you need more than one clone to be effective. Clivias are an extraordinarily useful plant for harsh, dry shade but must be frostfree.