From head-heading to leaf curling, and how to deal with it.
• Watch out for leaf curling, particularly on plums and cherries. Beneath the leaves you’ll find hundreds of aphids. Cut off the infected tips and put the prunings into a bucket so the pests won’t escape. Then spray the trees with Py liquid. Avoid drifting as it kills fish. Spray in the evening after the sun has gone off the trees.
• Transplant sweet Williams seedlings in rows 18in apart. If you forgot to sow the seeds, they can be sown now.
• Tie in stems on dahlias. On large varieties, three canes may be better than one. Dahlia foliage is very heavy after rain.
• Keep taking off dead flowers on all flowering plants to ensure more blooms, particularly on annuals.
• Bend new shoots on climbing and rambling roses so they look arch-like. This ensures blooms on the sides of the shoots, not just the tops.
• Feed sweet peas with Maxicrop Complete liquid feed. Remove every seed pod to keep them blooming for longer.
• Thin out apples and plums so none of the fruits touch 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 powder 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 them in 75 per cent sharp sand with 25 per cent peat or peat substitute. Keep them in the shade. They will take many weeks to root.