Gardening: World of opportunity with seeds to select

AGM winner, runner bean Lady Di.

AGM winner, runner bean Lady Di.

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The Plant World Seeds offers have always been really popular – two free seed packets with my exclusive voucher code.

Plant World Seeds will send you a packet of Agapanthus Headbourne Hybrids (worth £2.95) and runner bean Lady Di (£1.85) – if you place any order on its website, no matter how small, together worth £4.80.

Exotic blues of Agapanthus Headbourne Hybrids.

Exotic blues of Agapanthus Headbourne Hybrids.

Agapanthus Headbourne Hybrids (A. praecox) have huge true blue globular heads that flower freely on stout stems above robust clumps of strap-shaped leaves.

This virtually hardy variety forms thick established clumps which improve over the years and impress all who visit the Plant World Seeds gardens in Devon. However, unless you live right on the coast, you might be better off planting them in pots to overwinter in a cool greenhouse.

They grow to 60cm tall and the packet contains about 50 seeds.

Runner bean Lady Di bears long, slim, stringless and fleshy pods and tolerates heat well. They give a heavy crop of tender delicious dark green pods over a very long season and received the RHS 1999 Award of Garden Merit.

Potato Jazzy planted singly in eight-litre bags.

Potato Jazzy planted singly in eight-litre bags.

You can sow indoors, or outside after the last frost, using a cane structure or wigwam to support plants. Sow in rows 1-2” deep. Keep well watered and feed weekly.

To claim your seeds, when you get to the payment stage, fill in the promotion code box with SUND10, then the two packets will be automatically added to your order free of charge.

To browse the catalogue, packed with rare and unusual varieties, log on to www.plant-world-seeds.com


JOBS TO DO THIS WEEKEND

Plant first-early potatoes in sacks, as long as you can protect the haulm (stem) from frost.

Cut the spent heads off narcissus and daffodils, but leave the leaves to die back naturally.

Sow wildlife-friendly flower seeds where they are to flower, such as honesty or verbena to encourage insects.

Sow summer bedding plants in a heated propagator or under glass.

Divide hellebores and polyanthus-type primulas after flowering.

Top dress spring-flowering alpines with grit or gravel to show off the plants and to help prevent stem rots.

Improve the drainage of heavy soils by working in lots of organic matter.

Get herbaceous perennial supports in early, so that the plants grow up through them – I use sturdy twiggy branches. Adding rigid supports later looks unattractive. Criss-crossing strings from hidden or posts works well, allowing stems to grow up in the gaps between strings.

Continue to protect new growth on lilies, delphiniums and hostas, etc, from slugs and snails.

Prunus species (ornamental cherries, plums and almonds) are vulnerable to silver leaf if pruned before mid-summer, and should not require routine pruning if planted with sufficient space for their eventual size.

Apply a high nitrogen spring/summer lawn fertiliser to encourage strong growth to help the lawn recover after the winter.

Remove netting placed over the pond to protect it from leaf fall. Divide marginal and bog garden plants if overcrowded. Contain vigorous perennials by planting in aquatic plant baskets and top with a layer of gravel. Cut back old marginal vegetation.

Protect fruit blossom from frost, but make sure insects can access the flowers or else hand pollinate them.

Switch to a summer feed for all citrus trees and increase watering.

Pollinate strawberry flowers under glass by brushing over them with your hands. Plant out cold-stored strawberry runners.

Plant onions, shallots, garlic sets, Jerusalem artichoke tubers and asparagus crowns if the soil is workable.

GET IN TOUCH

For more on these topics, plus cook what you grow, traditional recipes, North East information, environmental news and more, log on to www.mandycanudigit.com (now smartphone friendly), www.sunderlandecho.com/gardening, follow me on Twitter @MandyCanUDigIt or you can like me on Facebook at Mandycanudigit