WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Despite the lack of a fruit cage, there seem to be enough raspberries this season to feed both us and the birds. Now the old fruited canes need cutting out and the new growths tying in. Spindly stems are not worth saving.

Strawberry beds should also be tied up. Shear off the old leaves on established plants and retain only a few runners to make new plants. Remove straw or other mulch from around the plants as you weed them.

Prune rambling roses when the flowers have faded, taking out some of the oldest stems entirely to encourage new growth to sprout from the base of the plant. Buddleia alternifolia, deutzia and Kilkwitzia amabilis can also be pruned now by cutting out up to a third of the flowered stems entirely. Shrubs such as cistus and halimium need different treatment. Cut back side-shoots on these by two-thirds. You can also prune hebes when they have finished flowering, by taking out one or two of the straggliest stems at ground level.

Pinch out the tops of home-grown wallflowers to make bushy, compact plants. Sow herbaceous perennials such as aquilegia, delphinium, hollyhock and verbascum outside or in seedboxes in a cold frame to provide plants that can be set out next spring. Collect likely looking seed heads in the garden. Keep them in a paper bag in a cool place while they finish ripening.

Continue to dead head annuals and border perennials to encourage them to produce more flowers. Geraniums, too, need to be picked over regularly to remove spent flowers and any dying leaves. Although not hefty feeders, they do well when given a weekly dose of liquid feed.

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