Gardening Update: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
IF YOUR strawberry plants are three or four years old, now is the time to be pegging down some runners to make new plants. Either peg them directly into the soil or, if you prefer, into small pots set into the soil. They should be moved into their new rows in September.

Continue to plant leeks so that there is a succession when it comes to cropping.

Pears and apples can be summer-pruned now, shortening lateral growths and allowing the sun in to ripen the fruit.

Shrub roses that have got through their first (or only) flush of flower can be lightly pruned now, cutting back flowered shoots to a healthy bud and removing crossing or straggly growth.

Bearded irises, whether dwarf, intermediate or tall, can be lifted and divided now. Enrich the soil with well-rotted manure or compost - nothing too green - and replant only the best, fattest rhizomes. The operation usually produces many spare rhizomes that can be given away or potted for charity sales. If they are to be sold in the next few days, just wrap the roots lightly in clingfilm. The name can be written with a spirit-based felt pen on the leaves]

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