WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Now is not a time to be planting. But pruning can be done without raising too much of a sweat and, if you grow fruit trees trained as cordons, fans or espaliers, summer pruning is a must. Shorten all mature side shoots to within three leaves of the basal cluster. New shoots springing from existing shoots or spurs should be cut back even harder to within one leaf of the base.

Summer pruning encourages fruiting spurs. Winter pruning stimulates leaf growth. Some heavy watering may be necessary to help fruit reach maximum potential. Apples such as 'Ellison's Orange', which tend to fruit too heavily, should be thinned out again if necessary. Early varieties such as 'George Cave' are ready for picking now.

Take cuttings of indoor plants such as coleus, tradescantia, zebrina and busy lizzies. Use 3-4in long cuttings from the ends of vigorous shoots of busy lizzies and push them into pots filled with a compost-sand or compost-vermiculite mixture. When they have rooted and are growing well, pinch out the tops of the cuttings to encourage bushy growth. Take 3in cuttings of coleus, choosing the tips of non-flowering shoots to pot up singly in John Innes No 1 compost.

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