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Time to trim your DAHLIAS; The TV Gardener.

Byline: BY TOBY MUSGRAVE

THE month of August is a lot about savouring all the hard work you put in over spring.

So now is the time to harvest tomatoes, beans, cucurbits (regular harvesting encourages more fruit production), potatoes, onions and garlic.

Lift the latter when the skin on the neck begins to brown and becomes papery, and harvest sweetcorn as it becomes ripe.

But there is still time to get some great salad crops in, for example rocket. Sow lettuce, radish, and chicory.

You should also begin sowing seed of autumn and winter cropping vegetables, such as spring cabbages, sprouts, over-wintering onions and broccoli. These will be transplanted into their cropping position in September.

ORNAMENTAL GARDEN

It's still the perfect time to take softwood cuttings. Remember, take 10 cm cuttings from the new growth, trim off the bottom leaves, dip in rooting hormone, pop three to four into a pot of potting compost and keep moist.

If you didn't mulch your hedge in the spring, now is a good time. You can also to trim it up.

Keep watering and feeding to maximise bedding shows and to keep other plants healthy, as well as to help prevent disease such as powdery and downy mildew.

Many plants such as delphiniums, dahlias, and roses will keep flowering into September if you regularly deadhead.

I prefer to leave perennials rather than cut them back. The seed heads provide food for birds and many have attractive desiccated foliage that gives an autumn show far better than bare earth.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2006
Words:255
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