Weekend Work: Plant early spinach and take cuttings of herbs

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The Independent Online

What to do

* Morello cherries fruit on growth made the previous year, not on old wood. You need to dissuade them from fruiting only round the outer fringes of the tree by cutting away one or two of the older branches now.

* Spinach can be sown now to give an early crop in April of next year.

* Take thyme cuttings by pulling off strong growing shoots and pushing them into the ground round the parent plant. They should root in four weeks.

* Take cuttings of lavender and sage by pulling off shoots about 15cm (6in) long with a good heel attached and lining them out 5-8cm (2-3in) deep in light sandy soil. Firm down the soil around the cuttings and keep them well watered.

* Pull onions and leave them to ripen on top of the ground until the green stems have withered to the colour and texture of straw.

What to buy

* Early autumn flowering bulbs such as colchicum need to be in the ground as soon as possible. Avon Bulbs ( avonbulbs.co.uk) have six different kinds including the fabulous white C. speciosum 'Album'. "Still expensive but worth it," says Chris Ireland-Jones of Avon. C. autumnale 'Album' is half the price, but then it's only half as good. Hurry, though, because orders for Avon colchicums close by mid-September.