GARDENING: 15 jobs you can tackle this weekend

My 40+ year-old Orchid cactus.
My 40+ year-old Orchid cactus.

There's plenty of sun forecast this weekend, so there's lots of jobs you can tackle in the garden.

* Sow under cloches if soil is warm enough: carrots, beetroot, broad beans, salad onions, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, leeks, lettuce, rocket, coriander, mixed salad or stir fry leaves, radish, turnip, peas and Swiss chard. If in doubt, postpone.

* Sow dwarf French beans under glass in a large pot for an early crop in June.

* Plant lily bulbs in pots to transplant into the border.

* Take cuttings from dahlias planted last month to raise new plants.

* Sow hardy annual flowers where they are to bloom if your soil is workable, such as Calendula, Nasturtium and Nigella. You can also sow them in modules if you have space in an unheated greenhouse to give them a faster start.

* Divide and/or plant bulbs-­in-­the-­green, such as snowdrops (Galanthus) and winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis), if not done last month.

* Check whether containers need watering. Sheltered pots can miss out on any rainfall. Pots and tubs benefit from topping up with fresh John Innes compost.

* Check autumn­-sown sweet peas and apply mouse and slug controls if necessary.

* Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a balanced fertiliser (such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone), sprinkling it over the root area before hoeing into the soil surface.

* Delay pruning spring­-flowering shrubs until after they have flowered. Don't prune slightly tender evergreen shrubs (such as Choisya, until April), but do tackle hardy types. Remove reverted green shoots on variegated evergreens.

* Overgrown climbers can be renovated. Deciduous varieties will be at bud burst now, so you can tell which growth is dead and alive - suitable for Lonicera (honeysuckle), Hedera (ivy) and rambling roses.

* Cacti should be kept dormant until spring is definitely under way, then increase watering and feed to bring it into active growth.

* On mild days, open vents and doors of greenhouses to reduce humidity and help prevent disease.

* Apply a nitrogen feed to plums, cherries, cooking apples, pears and blackcurrants.

* Prune blueberries and apply sulphur chips to beds of blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries if needed.

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