Professional Gardener - Heritage allure

Visitor boom With more than a quarter of all UK holiday activities undertaken by UK residents now involving heritage (Heritage Lottery Fund), consider how you can boost your garden's appeal.

Catering A new industry guide to good hygiene for sandwich bars and food service outlets is now available from the Stationery Office. Produced by the industry on behalf of the catering sector, it covers product handling, temperature and pest control, staff training, hazard analysis, legal requirements, how to comply with legislation and practical advice on good practice.

Timber Take advantage of dry spells to apply stains, varnishes and wood preservatives to timber items where plants and visitors permit.

Ponds Keep an eye on water features during hot sunny weather and top up regularly when necessary to ensure that oxygen levels do not drop.

Containers and baskets If you have used a controlled-release fertiliser in planters and hanging baskets, you may now need to apply a supplementary liquid feed.

Bulbs and tubers Make sure that you have everything ready for forcing pots of bulbs you want to flower in time for Christmas. Start compiling bulb orders for next year's displays.

Flowers Keep on top of weeding and deadheading, especially roses and bedding. Feed small doses of liquid fertiliser to chrysanthemums. Cut back herbaceous perennials should they collapse and cut back hardy geraniums to encourage more flowers later.

Shrubs Continue to take semi-ripe shrub cuttings, placing them in a shaded frame, and keep an eye on those cuttings taken previously. Complete summer pruning of wisteria to ensure flower bud production for next year's display. Tie in any wisteria growth where required for extension. Gather up any diseased leaves from roses.

Kitchen garden Ripen onions and shallots grown from January and March sowings - if you managed to make them. Sow Japanese onions for next year and continue sowing spring cabbage at regular intervals. Make a final sowing of parsley for autumn and winter picking. Now is a good time to take semi-ripe cuttings of shrubby herbs such as rosemary and sage. Check fruit-picking ladders for signs of damage, wear and tear. Replace immediately if necessary. Inspect strawberry runners pegged down last month and cut plantlets from parent plants when ready.

Sally Drury, Technical editor

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