Weekend work: Time to plant grape vines


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The Independent Online

What to do

Plant grape vines as soon as you can if you have visions of a Roman summer next year, lying under a leafy arbour, waiting for the fruit to drop in your mouth. 'Royal Muscadine' will crop outside, but it grows prodigiously and you need warmth in late summer to sweeten the fruit. You also need to rig up netting against birds.

Cultivated blackberries need attention. Cut out the old fruited canes and tie in new growths, either along horizontal wires, or in a fan shape. Tips of new canes may have rooted where they touched the ground. Cut these ends off and pot them up if you want more plants.

October is a good month to plan hedge-planting. If you are thinking of putting in a hedge on an exposed site, plants will establish more easily if you make a screen on the windward side. Evergreens have a lot of wind resistance and tend to rock when it blows, so that roots find it difficult to get a hold in the earth. Hessian or doubled-over plastic netting is better than a solid screen.

What to enter

The deadline for entries to the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition is looming. There are eight categories – including one specially for young photographers – and entries must be in by the end of the month. Both amateurs and professionals can apply. For more information, go to igpoty.com