WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Plant out strawberry beds using plants bought in or grown from runners. The most trouble-free way of growing strawberries is supposed to be through a woven black polypropylene mulch that suppresses weeds and conserves moisture. I tried it but the plants did not thrive, and with this system, there is no way you can get muck or compost between the rows in autumn.

Sow hardy annuals, poppies, calendula, larkspur, limnanthes, love-in- a-mist, clarkia and cornflowers outside now.

Wall-trained peaches and nectarines need pruning when all the fruit has been safely gathered. Tie in new shoots to replace the shoots on which the fruit was borne. Cut out entirely any shoots springing from the front of the tree at right angles to the wall.

Take cuttings of shrubs such as berberis, phlomis and potentilla. They will root most easily in a mixture of sand or perlite mixed with compost.

Where there has been rain to soften the ground, you could start to prepare sites for new lawns. The earth should be well raked to get a fine, even tilth before you sow seed at the end of the month.

The back half of the summer is a good time to take stock of the garden and decide if anything needs to move. Lessen the shock of transplanting trees and shrubs by cutting round the root system two or three months before moving them. Cut a circle with a sharp spade, leaving a rootball that will be manageable when you make the final transfer. Keep the plant very well watered before and after the move.

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