GARDENING: Brian Kidd's jobs for the weekend 

Time to plant your maincrop potatoes.
Time to plant your maincrop potatoes.
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•Things quickly get out of hand at this time of year. Try to keep weeds under control while they are small and when hoeing, pick up all the weed seedlings because heavy overnight dew will cause them to root again.

•Now's the time to plant main crop potatoes, 15 inches between the tubers and at least two feet between the rows. If you have an allotment, try to leave a wider gap between each double row so it is easier to spray the crop with copper mixture in mid-June to prevent potato blight.

•Sow runner bean seeds indoors using one seed to each cell of insert trays. Look for the 24-cell size which fit into a standard seed tray. Some manufacturers produce the cells in modules of 12 cells. You will need two of these to fit a standard seed tray.

•Remember, it isn’t necessary to have a vegetable garden because runner beans on a wigwam shape of canes look very beautiful in a flower garden too.

•Rake a piece of pre-dug ground over deeply with a rake and spread three ounces of blood fish and bone over the raked surface, then rake again, ensuring the fertiliser is mixed well into the soil. This will prevent foxes digging the ground. Sow main crop carrot seed but cover the row with insect barrier mesh to prevent carrot root fly from laying eggs alongside the seedlings. The eggs turn into grubs which ruin the carrot root.

•Sow seeds of leeks within the next few days but keep the seed covered with insect barrier mesh. Once the seedlings are planted in blocks or rows, cover entirely with the insect barrier mesh to stop the leek moth. Leek moth chews the foliage – a very invasive pest.

•Try to prolong the strawberry crop. Hoe and weed through the plants and apply Vitax Q4 fertiliser between the plants and fork in with a hand fork. Cover about one third of the crop with cloches, making sure they have glass at the ends of the rows to prevent the plants being in a cold tunnel when the weather is windy. Those under cloches will ripen 10 days before those without cloches, This extends the fruiting period and avoids a glut of fruit which may have to be given away.

•If you have spare strawberry plants or you may be prepared to buy some, plant 12 in separate five-inch diameter pots in John Innes 3 compost and put them on a shelf in the greenhouse. Fruit is normally picked about eight weeks afterwards but the blooms will need to be pollinated with an art brush to ensure successful fruiting.

•All potted plants grown indoors or left for effect in the greenhouse can be fed with a weak liquid plant food from now until the end of September. Feed a weak feed only once each month choosing a plant food for tomatoes.