Cuttings: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
HAVING pruned your jasmine, buddleia, climbing roses, dogwoods and late-flowering clematis (Independent 6 March), turn your attention to the wisteria. This should have been half-pruned last summer, when any growths that you did not want to tie in should have been cut back by half. Now it is time to finish the job. Cut back all spare tendrils, leaving only two pairs of buds at the base of the new growth. Without this severe pruning, wistaria is apt to get stuck in leafing mode.

Split and replant congested clumps of aconites and snowdrops. This is the quickest way of spreading snowdrops in ground- covering mats of ivy, where self- seeding is unlikely. Lever up clumps and gently prise them apart, replanting smaller clumps of 6-10 snowdrops in their new positions. Work bonemeal into the hole to give them a good start.

Mulch the ground where lily of the valley and Solomon's seal grow with well-rotted compost. This is more easily done before the new shoots are through the ground than after. Mushroom compost, a by-product of the mushroom growing industry is excellent for jobs such as this as it is friable and weed-free.

Prune and train ornamental vines such as Vitis coignetiae and 'Brant' growing on walls and pergolas. On pergolas you can wrap long growths round the poles, securing them with soft string. On walls you should train out growths so they do not cross over each other, fixing the stems at intervals with galvanised vine eyes.

Hoe gently between rows of winter-planted garlic to loosen soil that has got beaten down and sour during the heavy rain of the last couple of months. Do the same between early rows of broad beans. Feed if necessary with an all-round fertiliser.

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