Weekend work

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Cut out flower stems from mock orange (philadelphus) leaving the new shoots to flower next season. Weigela needs the same treatment. Gather herbs such as rosemary and thyme and hang them in bundles to dry in a cool, airy place.

Transplant leeks from seed bed to vegetable plot. With a dibber, make holes at least 9in deep and drop a leek into each hole. Water them in well. You do not need to fill in the holes with earth.

Mulch runner beans when the soil is damp, to conserve moisture. Thin kohlrabi plants so that they are not more than 6in apart. Thin young beetroot. The thinnings are delicious steamed whole with butter and a scatter of shredded orange peel.

Sow more radish and lettuce to keep the supply going through the summer. The wonderfully damp conditions at present mean that summer-sown seed will germinate fast. Transplant purple sprouting broccoli plants, making a deep hole with a trowel and setting the young plants deeper in the ground than they have been growing in the seed bed. Water them liberally into the holes and then firm down the earth hard around them.

Keep dead-heading violas to encourage them to produce new flowers. Leggy clumps can be shorn down close to the ground to encourage bushy new growth.

Keep an eye on strawberry runners, which quickly play havoc with a neatly laid out strawberry bed. On each plant, leave the two strongest and nip out the rest. Pick whitecurrants and redcurrants regularly.

Take cuttings of the climbing hydrangea, H petiolaris. Use vigorous young side shoots about 3in long and stick them into pots of peat and sand mixture. Firm the soil down well around them.