Gardening: Weekend work

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Cut back broom when it has finished flowering, shortening the shoots that have flowered to within a couple of inches of the old wood. Do not cut into this older wood. Dead head lilacs and trim back Clematis montana if it is getting too greedy of space.

Watch for suckers on roses. They always spring from the base of the shrub and the foliage usually looks different to that of the parent. The sucker's leaves look more like a wild dog rose's. Pull the suckers out if you can, or trace them back underground to their junction with the rootstock and cut them off there.

Cut back the foliage of early flowering Iris unguicularis so that the sun can bake the rhizomes. This will increase flower power early next year. Trim off dead flower spikes of early flowering bearded iris.

Keep on top of bindweed (counsel of perfection), especially where it threatens to join up with climbers such as clematis. It is particularly difficult to extricate from situations such as these once it has got a hold.

Take cuttings from pinks by pulling out non-flowering side shoots. Trim them just under a stem joint, so that they are about four inches long. Root them in pots of sandy compost or in a narrow trench in a side border.

Continue to make successional sowings of summer vegetables. I have been putting in more carrots `Amsterdam Forcing 3 - Minicor' (Mr Fothergill 99p). It's a long name for a short vegetable. The seed has been specially selected to give the best crunchy baby carrots. I've also been sowing more lettuce, the Iceburg variety `Challenge' (Suttons pounds 1.90) and endive `Sally' (Marshalls pounds 1.05). Endive can be sown from May through to August and will provide salad leaves up until Christmas. `Sally' produces tightly curled heads of leaves, blanched in the centre.

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