Click to follow
The Independent Online
Many roses are already waging a losing battle against mildew. Climbers seem more susceptible than other types. The long-term answer is to choose varieties that are mildew-resistant, a better bet than being chained to a spray can all summer. Fungicides have to be administered every two weeks.

Watch for suckers on roses, too. They always spring from near the base of the shrub and the foliage looks different from that of the parent plant. Pull them off before they become too dominant.

Prune brooms that have finished flowering to stop them getting leggy and bare at the base. Using shears, cut back all the new wispy growth by half. Do not cut into old, hard wood. Brooms resent this and will not break into growth again from these points.

Deadhead lilac trees and shear over clumps of aubrietia and arabis to remove dead flower heads. Cut back the foliage of early flowering irises so that the sun can ripen the rhizomes.

Sycamore seedlings are springing up like an army of dragons' teeth. Remove them before they get a hold.

Plant out leeks as soon as you can get hold of young plants. The old gardeners round our way always trim the tops of the plants before they set them out. They say that if there is less top growth the roots of the leeks establish more quickly. Make deep holes with a dibber about 6in apart in rows 15in apart. Drop a leek into each hole and water in well.