GARDENING: Brian Kidd’s jobs for the weekend

Remove all seed pods on sweet peas to make them flower longer.
Remove all seed pods on sweet peas to make them flower longer.
Cactus vase - medium, Amara, 42

Gardening: 5 of the best cactus vases

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Our gardening expert sets you to work with some midsummer tasks.

•Watch out for leaf curling, particularly on plums and cherries. Beneath the leaves there will be hundreds of aphids. Simply cut off the infected tips and put the prunings into a bucket so the pests won’t escape. Now spray the trees with liquid Derris, but avoid drifting. It kills fish. Spray in the evening whenr the sun is off the trees.

•Transplant Sweet William seedlings in rows 18in apart. If you forgot to sow them, do it now.

•Tie in stems on dahlias. On large varieties, three canes may be better than one. Dahlia foliage gets heavy after rain.

•Keep deadheading all flowering plants to ensure blooms keep forming, particularly on annuals.

•Bend new shoots on climbing and rambling roses to form an arch. This ensures blooms on the sides of the shoots, not just the tops.

•Feed sweet peas with Maxicrop Complete and remove every seed pod to help them bloom longer.

•Thin apples and plums so none of the fruits touches each other. Spray afterwards with copper mixture to PREVENT brown rot on plums.

•Sow seeds of winter turnips and large-rooted radish for winter soups. Dust the seedlings with ant killer dust to prevent flea beetle damage. (Tiny holes in leaves with crispy brown edges on the leaves)

•Cut back all side shoots on cherries, nectarines and peaches by half the length of the rapidly growing shoots. This will encourage flower buds on the parts you leave behind. These buds form next year’s fruits.

•Take cuttings of all types of Daphne. Side shoots three inches long are ideal. Plant in 75 per cent sharp sand with 25 per cent peat or peat substitute. Keep them in the shade but they will take many weeks to root.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​