Gardening Update: Weekend work

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The Independent Online
PINCH out the growing tips of tomato plants to encourage them to concentrate on ripening their existing fruit. Continue to feed plants in tubs and hanging baskets, but do not feed shrubs or herbaceous perennials at this stage. New growth made now will not survive autumn frosts.

Prune rambler roses and climbing roses that only have one flush of flower, such as 'Albertine' and 'Easlea's Golden Rambler'. Match the amount of wood you cut out with the amount of new growth that the rose has made this year. Encourage new growth to sprout from the base by taking out some of the old wood entirely.

Tie in new growths of dahlias and chrysanthemums. Disbud dahlias regularly for the best display of blooms. Trim hedges of box, beech, yew, holly, laurel privet and Leyland cypress. On second thoughts, grub out the Leyland cypress.

Thin out old shoots of shrubs such as philadelphus if necessary and slash back overgrown honeysuckle. Low growing hebes can also be thinned.

Cut down canes of raspberries that have fruited and tie in new ones. Cut down the old foliage of strawberry plants and dispose of the straw on the compost heap.

Take cuttings of indoor plants such as coleus, tradescantia, zebrina and busy lizzies. Take three- to four-inch-long cuttings from the tips of busy lizzies (Impatiens species) and push them into a pot of sandy compost. When they have rooted well and are growing away, pinch out the tops of the cuttings to encourage bushy growth. Take three-inch cuttings of coleus, choosing the non-flowering shoots to pot up singly in John Innes No 1 compost.

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