WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Unfortunately, tulips are not as reliable in the matter of repeat flowering as daffodils. If they were, my garden would be wall-to-wall tulips. Nevertheless, it is worth planting out bulbs that have been lifted from pots and tubs. I replant them straight into the ground rather than storing them. There are often more hazards in storage than are met with in the ground. If you decide to replant, put a good sprinkling of bonemeal into each hole to help build up the bulb for the next growing season.

Keep onions hand-weeded, as they hate competition, and hoe carefully between rows of carrots, beetroot and other vegetables. When the soil is dry, they do not want to have to fight for their share of available water.

Continue successional sowings of salad crops such as radish and lettuce. I have been very pleased with a red loose-leaf lettuce called 'Everest' (Johnsons, 95p) which you can go on sowing until July. It is pretty enough to use in a window-box or tub, perhaps planted with lobelia or bright yellow bidens daisies.

The new cos lettuce 'Toledo' (Marshalls, 99p) has also done well. You need this kind of lettuce to add the crunch to your salad that the loose- leaf types do not have.

Early-flowering herbaceous plants such as oriental poppies can be cut back to the ground after they have flowered. The perennial cornflower, Centaurea montana, also needs shearing back if you want a second crop of flowers. Tidy up old flowered stems of sweet rocket and pick over clumps of violas regularly to nip off dead heads.

Pinch out the tips of young dahlia plants to make them bushy and fence plants in with strong stakes as they bulk up. A thick mulch of leaves, compost or grass cuttings round plants will help to conserve moisture.

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