WEEKEND WORK

Vigorous pruning is needed on wisterias to stop long new tendrils creeping in under tiles and through windows. First choose the growths that you want to keep to fill extra space and twine them round wire supports. Shorten all the growths you do not want to keep, leaving five or six pairs of leaves intact. These can be cut back further next February.

Apple and pear trees trained in cordons, espaliers and fans may need summer pruning. Do this gradually so the tree does not suffer too much of a shock. Leave the leaders at the ends of all the main branches untouched. Prune back the new side shoots that have been growing so that you shorten each by a third.

Layer border carnations. Choose young side shoots that have not flowered and nick through the joint at the base of each shoot. Do not cut it completely. Bend the side shoots down and peg them firmly into the ground with a bit of bent wire. Cover the split stem with fine damp soil and keep the plant well watered. The layers should have rooted by early September.

Start planting autumn flowering bulbs such as colchicum and sternbergia as soon as you can get hold of them. Continue to dead-head petunias, roses, osteospermums and the like.

Goose grass has been particularly aggressive this year. Haul it away to the bonfire before it drops its seeds for next year's crop. Pollen beetles have left the rape fields in favour of the sweet pea crop. You can see them sitting in the keel of the flower. Showmen worry about them spoiling the look of their prize blooms, but they do little actual damage.

Tie in the new growths of rambler roses and of other wall shrubs such as pyracantha and trachelospermum. Continue to nick out side shoots of tomatoes and tie the main stem onto its support if necessary. Bush tomatoes can be left alone. Some years I have picked "Tumbler" outdoor bush tomatoes in the first week of July. Not this year though. The plants had too slow a start.

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