Weekend Work: Time to sow runner beans

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The Independent Online

What to do

Germination of runner beans has been erratic, perhaps because of the dry start to the growing season this year. There is still time to sow more, if necessary, but hurry.

Sow Brompton stocks, pansies and perennials, such as alpine and Iceland poppies, outside now for flowering next year. Thin out hardy annuals sown direct in the garden.

Remove side shoots from tomato plants (except bush varieties) and keep courgettes and cucumbers well mulched.

Pot cuttings of garden pinks, about 7cm (3in) long, in a sandy mixture of soil. Firm the soil down well.

Begonias and busy lizzies are thirstier than other annuals. Give them top priority in the watering can rota. Hydrangeas need a lot of water too.

Prune early-flowering honeysuckle if it is too big for its allotted space. Cut back the shoots that have flowered, making the cut at a point where a fresh, new shoot is breaking.

What to see

The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford in Cheshire opens next Wednesday (the first day is for RHS members only) and continues until 24 July. There are 15 show gardens and one Paradise Isle. Ticket prices range from £19.50 to £28 and can be booked on 0844 581 0810. For more information see rhs.org.uk/tattonpark