Weekend Work: Time to clear out summer bedding plants

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The Independent Online

What to do

What to do

Start to clear out summer bedding plants if you plan to replace them with wallflowers or sweet williams. Look for plants that have been pinched out in youth, forcing them into a compact, bushy habit.

Lawn edges get tough treatment from dogs and children. You can repair the worst bits by cutting a rectangle of turf behind the edge and then relaying it round the reverse way. Sift a little earth over the join.

Sow lettuces such as 'Winter Gem' in the greenhouse to crop in spring. Outside, you need to use a variety such as 'Arctic King' or 'Valdor'. Japanese greens and lamb's lettuce can also be sown outside now to provide cut and come again salad crops.

Take cuttings of shrubs such as berberis, deciduous ceanothus, cistus, hebe, mallow, philadelphus, potentilla and pyracantha. Choose semi-ripe wood and cut sections 10-15cm (4-6in) long. Root them in a greenhouse propagating frame, or stick them round the edge of a pot filled with sandy compost. Cover the pot with a polythene bag to conserve moisture.

What to see

The Great Dixter Plant Fair opens today and continues tomorrow (11am-4pm) with the best plantsmen in Europe selling unusual plants. Admission (£7.20) to the garden, at Northiam, East Sussex TN31 6PH, includes entry to the Fair

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