Professional Gardener - Dry weather jobs

Accident reporting - The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) no longer offers a telephone service for general information and has changed its contact arrangements to better direct those needing to report an incident, notify workplace concerns or seek interpretation of guidance. Visit www.hse.gov.uk/contact and click on the appropriate option.

Timber structures - Take advantage of dry spells to treat timbers with preservative. This will give them a makeover and prepare them for the winter. A new product to consider is Osmo Fence & Wood Stain. Not only does it restore timber to its natural beauty, emphasising the texture and grain, it also provides UV protection and is water and weather resistant. What's more, it is made with natural ingredients from the woad plant.

Pest and weed control - Recent hot weather has resulted in a huge rise in aphids. Control as necessary and keep mulches topped up to suppress weeds.

Climbers - New stems of roses will need training into shape while they are still soft and pliable. Feed any plants growing next to walls and mulch around the stems.

Flowers - Provide extra support to herbaceous plants as needed. Record performance details for annuals and new plants.

Trees and shrubs - Plan any moves so necessary equipment can be ordered in plenty of time.

Kitchen garden - Tie in new stems of raspberries and feed autumn-fruiting ones. Finish harvesting gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants. Finish summer pruning of cordon and espalier fruit trees by the end of the month. Prepare a seedbed for sowing spring cabbage. Update records with notes as to yields, quality and resistance to pests and diseases so information is to hand when ordering seed for next year.

Lawns - Spike worn areas, water feed and weed. Finalise plans for new grass areas and overseeding.

New tulip - 'Cupcakes' is a stunning peony-flowered tulip collection in Thompson & Morgan's latest catalogue and available for delivery later this year. It includes a variety of fluffy double-flowers, from soft pinks to vibrant reds and purples. Stems are upright and stiff, around 40cm long, making them good for cutting.

Planning for 2014 - Record what worked and what didn't, both in terms of planting schemes and visitor events. Try to find time to visit other gardens to search out new ideas.


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