THE WEEK AHEAD

Jobs to do this week in­clud­ing ideas and projects for your gar­den

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Notebook - Lia Leen­dertz

Cold com­fort

Evergreen aga­pan­thus are ten­der and will need over­win­ter­ing in a slightly heated green­house. De­cid­u­ous types are much hardier, but they can still suf­fer from frost dam­age, so cover the crowns with a dry mulch such as sand or straw now, to pro­tect them.

Cool for win­ter

Many beau­ti­ful sil­ver-fo­liaged bed­ding plants are on sale now to use as a foil to win­ter bed­ding, but con­sider mak­ing an en­tire bas­ket of Cen­tau­rea cineraria subsp. cineraria (right), Helichry­sum ‘Sil­ver Mist’ or Senecio ‘Sil­ver Dust’.

Top off sprouts

If you’re hold­ing off un­til nearer Christ­mas to start har­vest­ing your Brus­sels sprouts, pick the leafy tops now. There is lit­tle grow­ing at this time of year so the plant won’t miss them, and they are de­li­cious shred­ded and fried in but­ter.

Let them lie

Let fallen leaves lie where they drop onto borders and bare soil. They will slowly rot down and help to keep bor­der soil rich and moist. But you should clear them off lawns and from around the crowns of plants, where they can cause rots.

Pick off moths

Check onions for leek moth cater­pil­lars, which will be pu­pat­ing now, al­low­ing you to pick them off. If you find any, plant al­li­ums in a dif­fer­ent place next year, and cover plants with fleece so that the moths can­not lay on them.

Plant scilla

There is still time to plant tiny and pale Scilla tu­ber­ge­ni­ana (of­ten called S. mis­chtschenkoana). This na­tive of north­ern Iran and the Cau­ca­sus flow­ers in Fe­bru­ary, along­side Cy­cla­men coum and aconites. Plant straight into the gar­den (ideal as un­der­plant­ing for de­cid­u­ous trees) or along­side alpines, or pack them into shal­low pots for a mass of very wel­come late win­ter flow­ers (avon­bulbs.co.uk).

Bam­boo shoots

Time to check bam­boos. If you have a run­ning type then search out quest­ing shoots and dig them out. Dig­ging a small trench around the plant will help to make such es­capees ob­vi­ous, but re­mem­ber to check in­ter­mit­tently.

Clear paths

Mossy ar­eas on paving are the re­sult of damp and shade, and they will al­ways be mossy as long as the shade ex­ists. Prune back over­hang­ing branches to let light in, and blast slip­pery paths with a power washer.

Asia de­lights

Asian pears pro­duce de­li­cious fruit, grow bril­liantly in our cli­mate, and can be planted now. Buy two dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties for best pol­li­na­tion. Avail­able from Ot­ter Farm, Devon, that has cour­ses at its new Kitchen Gar­den School (ot­ter­farm.co.uk).

Hunt snails

Snails hi­ber­nate un­der rocks and stones over win­ter, wait­ing to re-emerge in spring, at much the same time as your seedlings. Turn them out now for the birds – you will re­duce the pop­u­la­tion and po­ten­tial fu­ture dam­age.

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