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Gardening: TOBY'S TOP TIPS FOR WEEK AHEAD.

1 Make a list of gardens you want to visit. Later in the year you'll have the perfect excuse to take the weekend off to go visit something 'we planned ages ago'. It's all about psychology!

2 Carnations and chrysanthemums can be propagated from semi-ripe cuttings taken now. Cut a 10cm semi-ripe shoot, namely last year's growth. Trim off the bottom leaves, dip in hormone powder and insert 4cm deep into appropriate compost. Water in using a fine rose on the can. Keep cuttings indoors and above 13C.

3 Check your climbing plants and tie in any shoots that may have come loose in the recent strong winds. Tie them in to the support, or to the plant itself, to prevent further damage.

4 If the soil dries out and no heavy frosts are forecast, plant out new hardy plants. Remember to put a good handful of organic manure into the hole before putting the plant in.

5 If you can get on the soil, sow broad beans for an early crop. Lightly fork in hoof and horn fertiliser over the area to be sown at a rate of 120g per sqaure metre. Make a flat-bottomed seed drill 25cm wide and 6cm deep. Sow the seeds in two rows 18cm apart, leaving 15cm between the seeds in each row.

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CHRYSANTHEMUMS: it's time to take cuttings
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 30, 2005
Words:227
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