Gardening: Cuttings: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
TO PRUNE cultivated blackberries, cut out the old fruited canes and tie the new canes to supports. The variety 'Himalaya Giant' does not produce as much new wood as some others, so leave some of the old stems to fruit next year. Loganberries can be treated in the same way. Leave the centre of the plant clear, so next season's stems can be tied temporarily in a bundle.

Blackcurrants fruit on new wood, so you need to persuade the bushes to produce as much as possible. Do this by cutting out at least one-third of the old dark wood each season, keeping the new ginger-coloured stems that spring from the base. For red and white currants, which fruit on spurs from the old wood, cut back this season's main shoots by about one-third.

Privet hedges will probably need a second clip this month, after their late spring trim in May, to take them into winter looking svelte and orderly. Lavender hedges can be lightly trimmed to remove dead flower stems. Proper clipping and hard cutting back of straggly plants should be left until March or April. Box hedges, edges and topiary should already have been clipped into shape. Do it now.

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