Weekend work: Time to send indoor plants outside for a holiday

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The Independent Online

What to do

* Indoor plants such as azaleas, pelargoniums, ivies and Easter cacti can be sent outside for a holiday now until early September. Continue to feed them as usual.

* Take cuttings of African violets. Choose strong, healthy leaves and cut them from the parent plant with about 5cm (2in) of stem attached. Sink the stalks into compost made from equal quantities of peat and vermiculite and keep moist and warm (about 65F). When rooted, pot them up singly.

* Stem cuttings of bougainvillea, clianthus, philodendron and stephanotis can also be taken now.

* Cut back weigela when it has finished flowering, taking out a couple of stems entirely at ground level. Deutzia responds well to the same kind of treatment.

* At last you are allowed to cut down daffodil leaves. Leaving them until now maximises the benefit to the bulb and will help it give a good account of itself next year.

* Nip out the central growing point of May-sown sweet williams and wallflowers to make them bushy. This will eventually result in greater flower power. Spray chrysanthemums also benefit from being pinched out.

* Pinch out tomato plants too. Not the growing tips, but the side shoots that appear in the leaf axils of cordon types such as 'Gardener's Delight', 'Alicante' and 'Ailsa Craig'. Outdoor bush tomatoes such as 'Red Alert', 'Tornado' and 'Carefree' should not be pinched out at all.

What to see

The Cottesbrooke Plant Finders Fair has quickly established itself as a top place to shop, not just for plants but for tools antique and modern, pots, and a wide selection of garden goods from beehives to baskets. Find it at Cottesbrooke Hall, Cottesbrooke, Northamptonshire NN6 8PF. It's open today and tomorrow (10-5.30) Admission £8.50. For more information go to www.cottesbrookehall.co.uk