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Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

Keep new plants well-wa­tered in dry spells to keep them strong and make them less sus­cep­ti­ble to disease.

Mow the lawn once a week if it’s grow­ing, but in spells of hot, dry weather keep the blades high and leave clip­pings on the lawn to re­tain mois­ture.

Prune ear­lyflow­er­ing shrubs such as Ker­ria japon­ica and Spi­raea Arguta, which fin­ish flow­er­ing on wood that was pro­duced the pre­vi­ous year.

Keep on top of weed­ing and pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to per­ni­cious weeds such as bindweed and ground el­der.

Prune pyra­can­thas that are trained against a wall, cut­ting out shoots grow­ing di­rectly into or away from it. Shorten the oth­ers to about 8cm, which en­cour­ages the for­ma­tion of short spurs that bear the flower buds and ber­ries in au­tumn.

Prune Clema­tis mon­tana once flow­er­ing is over.

Snap off spent tulip heads, but leave the fo­liage in­tact for about six weeks, which will en­able plants to re­di­rect their en­ergy back into the bulb.

Plant out mar­rows and cour­gettes when all dan­ger of frost has passed.

Re­move run­ners from straw­ber­ries to pre­serve the plant’s en­ergy.

Pinch out the tips of broad beans when they flower to dis­cour­age black­fly.

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