Weekly jobs

Salford Advertiser - - MOTORING -

Cut down the tops of pot-grown late flow­er­ing chrysan­the­mums to their base. Store them in a green­house or cold frame

Place forc­ing jars over clumps of rhubarb to en­cour­age early stems

Fork over bare patches be­tween plants to re­lieve soil com­paction, work­ing com­post into the soil as you go

Prune birch and ac­ers when dor­mant, re­mov­ing any dead or dis­eased growth and cut­ting back to a healthy bud

Look out for bar­gain bulbs such as Tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’ and Al­lium ‘Pur­ple Sen­sa­tion’ which will still flower the fol­low­ing spring planted as late as De­cem­ber

Keep your forced Christ­mas hy­acinths cool to stop the leaves grow­ing too rapidly and ob­scur­ing the flow­ers ●●Re­cut any lawn edges that are look­ing scruffy ●●Con­tinue to clear away de­bris to stop slugs and snails hid­ing un­der it ●●Har­vest Christ­mas broc­coli, parsnips and leeks ●●When prun­ing ap­ples and pears, save the long of­f­cuts to use as plant sup­ports for peren­ni­als or as pea sticks in spring and sum­mer

Best of the bunch

OR­NA­MEN­TAL cab­bage WELL, you can eat it, but I pre­fer to look at it as the or­na­men­tal cab­bage is quite a glam­orous can­di­date for pots and at the front of beds and bor­ders in win­ter, with its colour­ful mauve, pink or cream hearts with green frills

SHAL­LOTS I THINK that shal­lots are tastier and crunchier pick­led than reg­u­lar pick­ling onions, but you can pay a pre­mium for them in the shops and it’s easy to grow them your­self and im­press your rel­a­tives at Christ­mas hav­ing pick­led them as well.

Sim­ply pre­pare your site in early spring by fork­ing it over to loosen the soil and work in a lit­tle gen­eral fer­tiliser un­less the area has been ma­nured for a pre­vi­ous crop.

You don’t need to add or­ganic mat­ter. Push in­di­vid­ual bulbs (sets) into the soil so the tips are still around the edge.

It does well as the fo­cal point of a pot and can stay colour­ful all win­ter, run­ning to seed in early spring.

Or­na­men­tal kale is sim­i­lar, but with shag­gier leaves.

Both thrive in rea­son­ably welldrained soil or in pots, in sun or light shade.

Good enough to eat

cov­ered, 15cm apart in rows 30cm apart, in March or early April, weed the area reg­u­larly and by July they should be ready, as soon as the top starts to dry off.

The orig­i­nal bulb will have mul­ti­plied into a dozen or so shal­lots. Lift the clumps out of the soil to leave to dry in the sun, or bring them in­doors if it’s wet.

Fully ripened shal­lots should store well into the fol­low­ing win­ter and early spring.

Spread them in a sin­gle layer on wooden trays and keep them in a cool, dry place.

Good va­ri­eties in­clude ‘Del­i­cato’ and ‘Topper’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.