GARDENING: Jobs for the weekend

Prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis montana once it has finished flowering.

Prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis montana once it has finished flowering.

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Here’s a list of jobs you could tackle in the garden this bank holiday weekend.

• Sow French beans, runner beans, squash, cucumbers and pumpkin seeds directly into prepared beds outside.

• Be alert to late frosts (horticultural fleece should provide enough protection).

• Plant out cannas and dahlias when danger of frost is past. Tubs can be planted up with summer bedding,but make sure the plants are hardened off and keep fleece handy in case there’s a cold night.

• If you want to grow spring bedding, wallflowers, pansies, and daisies need to be sown between now and July in order to flower next spring.

• Keep tubs, hanging baskets and alpine troughs well watered. Use collected rainwater, or recycled grey water (from the bath).

• Remove dead leaves from around the basal rosettes of alpine plants to prevent rotting. Top dress spring-flowering alpines with grit or gravel to prevent rotting around the neck.

• Clip evergreen hedges. If not too woody, shredded clippings can be added to the compost heap.

• Prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis montana once it has finished flowering. It will take even hard cutting-back very well.

• Apply a high nitrogen summer lawn fertiliser to encourage a healthy-looking lawn, taking care to avoid any run-off.

• Continue to plant up bog gardens.

• Self-blanching celery can also be planted out.

•Thin gooseberries if you want large fruit.

• Start to remove sideshoots from cordon tomatoes as you see them.

The sideshoots develop in the leaf axils (between the stem and leaf), and if allowed to develop will reduce the quality of the yield.