Weekend Work: Plant early potatoes and dead-head the daffodils

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The Independent Online

What to do

Plant early potatoes. 'Accent' is a good, waxy first early, and 'Kestrel' a fine second early, usually ready for lifting in July. It roasts well.

French beans can be started off indoors. Wooden apple boxes lined with newspaper allow plenty of room for growth. They mustn't go out before late May as they're prone to frost damage.

Daffodils can be dead-headed, which prevents the bulbs from wasting energy on producing seeds.

Camellias need picking over too as they are reluctant to shed their withered flowers.

Late April and May are the best times to plant new conifers and other evergreens. Keep new trees well watered throughout the summer.

Check that peonies, delphiniums and lupins which have already made lush growth are well staked before they start flowering.

What to see

"Gardens Plants Pleasure Peace Taste Treats Birdsong Sunlight." It's a big promise, but The Garden Station at Langley on Tyne, Hexham NE47 5LA is promising it. Next Tuesday you can learn how to take decent photos ("concentrate on pattern"), on Wednesday you can learn how to draw, on Thursday, Sue Hick will explain how to garden with wildlife in mind. Courses run from 10.45am-4.30pm to coincide with bus timetables and cost £48 to include coffee, lunch and tea. For more details or to book, call 01434 684391 or check out the website at thegardenstation.co.uk

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