WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Heathers settle well if planted at this time of the year, provided you take care to seat them properly in the soil with roots well spread out. In many places, the soil is still dry just under the surface, so water any new plantings.

Take cuttings from heathers now too, choosing short sideshoots that have not flowered. Pull them off with a heel - a sliver of old wood - attached and bury them up to half their length, putting several in a pot of compost. Perlite or sand mixed with a multipurpose compost gives the right texture. Over the winter, put the cuttings in a cold frame.

Daturas and all such tropicana should be safely in the greenhouse now. Prune daturas if they have become misshapen or too big for their boots. If the temperature in the greenhouse drops below 40F (4.5C), they may lose their leaves.

The days of fuchsias may also be numbered. When frost does strike and foliage dies down, bring the plants into a greenhouse or porch or garage where they can be kept dry and cool all winter.

Plant sweet williams and stocks destined for cottage garden beds next summer. If you are planting in ground that has already been working hard this summer, work bonemeal into the soil before you plant and mulch after planting, packing mushroom compost or something similar round the new incumbents of the plot.

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