Weekend Work: Time to plant out strawberry beds

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What to do

Plant out strawberry beds using fresh plants bought, 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, although this process didn't work for me.

Sow hardy annuals, poppies (below), calendula, larkspur, limnanthes, love-in-a-mist, clarkia and cornflowers outside now in the places you want them to flower.

Wall-trained peaches and nectarines need pruning when all the fruit has been 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.

There has been plenty of rain to soften the ground, so you could start to prepare sites for new lawns. The earth should be well raked and clods knocked down with a fork 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 and decide if anything needs to move. Lessen the shock of transplanting by cutting round the root system of established trees and shrubs two or three months before moving them. Cut a circle with a sharp spade round the root system, leaving a rootball ready for the final transfer later in the season. Keep the plant well watered before and after the move.

What to see

Start saving produce now for the 'Harvest Swap Shop' at St Paul's Cathedral. On 26 Sept, in celebration of British Food Fortnight, anyone who brings along a shoebox of home-grown fruit and veg will get a free Sunday lunch. Allotment potatoes, window-box berries, back-garden beans can all be swapped for a traditional roast, courtesy of head chef Candice Webber. To claim your lunch, bring your shoebox to The Restaurant, St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4 (020-7248 2469) between 12-3pm. First come, first served. See restaurantatstpauls.co.uk

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