Gardeners’ World 2021 episode 5: In the cottage garden at Longmeadow, Monty gives advice on what to plant under shrubs and roses, while in the vegetable garden, now that the soil has warmed up, he sows seeds for summer crops.
In East Sussex, the show visits a nurseryman with a passion for orchids to get his tips for growing success, and in Oxfordshire, there’s a couple who share an enthusiasm for gardening and growing vegetables. Carol Klein celebrates a spectacular display of tulips on a visit to Dunsborough Park in Surrey. In Brighton, Kate Bradbury is in her own garden as she takes us through the first stages of creating a wildlife garden.
Plus a variety of our viewers’ gardens along with their own hints and tips.
Gardeners’ World 2021 episode 5
Growing Cymbidium orchid
Cymbidium have highly decorative flower spikes and are one of the least demanding indoor orchids. To flower well, the plants need a distinct temperature drop between day and night during mid- to late summer.
Cymbidium prefers cooler growing conditions than some other tender indoor orchids. Provide winter growing temperatures between 10-14°C (50-57°F). Keep the temperatures below 30°C (86°F) in summer to prevent damage to the plants.
Plants can be kept outdoors from mid- to late summer (often June to September). However, gradually acclimatise the plants to outdoor conditions in order to prevent leaf scorch from cold temperatures or direct sun.Flower spike initiation takes place in mid- to late summer, when plants require good light and a distinct drop between day and night temperatures. Placing the plants outside helps to provide such conditions.
To prevent bud-drop, keep the temperature below 15°C (59°F) during flower spike development. Wait until the flowers have opened before moving the plant into a warmer environment for display purposes.Support developing flower spikes with a bamboo cane. Flowers generally last for six to eight weeks. Once the blooms have faded, cut down the flowered stem to the base.
Cymbidium needs moderate watering during spring and summer, depending on the conditions. Water from above, making sure that excess water can drain away. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Let the compost dry out a little before the next watering. Plants placed outdoors or in the greenhouse may need more frequent watering in hot weather. Outdoor plants may only need occasional watering if the weather is wet. Reduce watering to weekly or fortnightly in winter.
How to grow dahlias
Dahlias put on a show in summer and autumn. They come in a wide range of colours from pastels to brights. Very floriferous, they’re also good for cutting.
Plant dahlias on free-draining, lighter soils, where they are more likely to survive the winter. While they will grow on heavy soils, you are more likely to need to lift the tender Tubers are swollen, usually underground, parts of a stem or root used to store food by the plant. They have buds that can produce new plants. Examples are tuberous begonia, cyclamen, dahlia and potato. All dahlias like a sunny site, ideally with space between them and their neighbours.
As dahlias are tender, you’re best starting the tubers into growth in the greenhouse, then plant them in their flowering site after the frosty days are passed. For most in the UK, this is at the end of May, but in Scotland this is more typically early to mid June. (For an alternative method, see Planting dormant tubers below). If you are raising dahlias from seed, sow these in a propagator in early to mid spring.
How to grow Blueberries
Not only are blueberries productive, their glorious autumn colours provide ornamental appeal. The fruit is delicious and high in antioxidants. Shrubs can be grown in the garden border or as attractive container plants.
Blueberries are relatively easy to look after. Keep the compost or soil moist, but not soaking wet. Don’t allow it to dry out between waterings. Water plants with rainwater, not tap water, unless you have no alternative in a drought. Tap water will raise the pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions.
Ensure the soil stays at pH of 5.5 or lower, to avoid problems. Check the pH of the soil in spring and add sulphur chips if it needs lowering. This shouldn’t be necessary with container-grown plants provided ericaceous fertiliser and rainwater are used.Feed container plants every month using a liquid fertiliser formulated for ericaceous (lime-hating) plants, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
You may find open ground plants don’t need feeding apart from the annual ericaceous mulch and a high nitrogen feed such as sulphate of ammonia in late winter. Blueberries are sensitive to overfeeding. Pruning is rarely needed in the first two years. After that you should prune in late February to early March. Once you start pruning, you should aim to remove a quarter of old wood at the base every year to keep the plant productive.