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There's plenty to keep your green fingers busy; JOBS FOR THE WEEK.

| Tall perennials are shooting up so put in stakes or supports to help show off their blooms and prevent them bending over or snapping. Or you can do the Chelsea chop which involves cutting back perennials in their stride to make them bushier and less likely to flop over. This reduces the need for staking and can produce more flowers.

Plants that will benefit from this include heleniums, sedums, rudbeckia, phlox and solidago.

You can also choose to chop some plants, and leave some alone so you will have different flowering times and heights.

| Plants grown in containers will need TLC. Remove old compost and replace with fresh and keep fed fortnightly and well watered.

| Aphids and greenflies are busy reproducing check plants, especially roses, for infestations and remove what you see by hand. You can also use organic pest sprays which are natural fatty acid mixtures that destroy the insects, or make up a very dilute soapy mixture.

| Add baking powder to water and spray on roses to prevent mildew and black spot.

| In the veg garden, asparagus and rhubarb growers will be harvesting the fruits of their labour - cut asparagus spears before they get too tall. Harden off outdoor tomatoes and courgettes for planting out in June.

| Sow lettuce, radish, spring onions and carrots fortnightly.

| Check lilies for scarlet lily beetles and remove by hand - otherwise you may be left with ragged foliage.

| Are your dahlia tubers ready for planting out? You will be frost free now, or shortly.

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It's time to harvest your rhubarb

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:May 22, 2018
Words:259
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