Gardeners’ World 2021 Winter Specials episode 2: In the second of two special programmes, Monty and the Gardeners’ World team look back at the horticultural highlights from the latest series and celebrate the very best inspirational gardens and gardeners up and down the country. There’s also another chance to see what viewers were getting up to in their gardens throughout the year.
In the first of two special programmes, Monty and the Gardeners’ World team look back at the horticultural highs of the latest series and celebrate the very best inspirational gardens and gardeners up and down the country. There’s also another chance to see what viewers were getting up to in their gardens throughout the year when they shared their own home videos.
Gardeners’ World 2021 Winter Specials episode 2
Grow your own tomatoes
Tomatoes produce abundant delicious fruits in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. They are easily grown in gardens, greenhouses or containers, and are appreciated by children and adults alike.
Tomatoes are very easy to grow from seed. Alternatively, you can buy tomato plants from late spring from garden centres; these are a good option where you can’t maintain the right conditions for germination and growing on. Grafting your own or buying grafted plants is another way to raise tomatoes. Sow seed in late March to early April for outdoor crops, and in mid-February for growing in an unheated glasshouse. Seed can be expensive, but usually only a few plants are needed, and germination is usually good.
Ideally, grow on in a glasshouse (or failing this, a well-lit windowsill), spacing plants so that their leaves never touch to avoid legginess. About a month after pricking out, the plants will be ready for planting into their final positions – this is indicated by the first flowers showing their yellow colour. The stress of being grown in the confines of a pot promotes flowers earlier than in less stressful positions, such as growing in the ground.
Houseplants come in all shapes and sizes, many with architecturally stunning foliage, and others with beautiful blooms in every colour. Apart from regular watering and feeding, most require little attention. This short guide deals with houseplants which need to be indoors all year.
Most houseplants require bright filtered light. Light levels decrease rapidly as plants are placed further back from the window. It is important to avoid sun through glass as this can scorch the leaves of tropical plants. As light levels fall in the winter some plants may benefit from being moved to a lighter position such as nearer a window as long as the minimum required temperatures can be maintained.
Most houseplants thrive in warm rooms and even temperatures all year round. During winter, move plants to rooms which are not overheated during the day, but maintain the required minimum temperatures. Avoid placing plants near open fires, radiators, in draughts, or on windowsills on frosty nights.
Tropical plants require a humid atmosphere. Mist plants daily, or, better, place on a tray of damp gravel, expanded clay granules (Hydroleca) or recycled lightweight aggregate (Hortag). Plants grouped together will create a humid micro-climate around their leaves.
How to grow cucumbers
You can grow cucumbers in the ground, pots or in growing bags. Home-grown cucumbers taste fabulous. Choose the type that’s right for you – some can be grown outside, some indoors. Outdoor cucumbers can be sown directly into the soil in late May and early June.
Start cucumbers off by sowing seeds from mid-February to mid-March. If you have a heated greenhouse or similar environment, or in April if you have an unheated greenhouse. Sow seeds on their side, 1cm (½in) deep in pots.
Sow seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep indoors in late April. Alternatively, sow directly outside in late May or early June and cover the soil above the seeds with fleece, a cloche or glass jar. This method can work well in southern regions and in warm summers.
Gardeners’ World 2021
Gardeners’ World is a long-running BBC Television programme about gardening, first broadcast on 5 January 1968 and still running as of 2019. Its first episode was presented by Ken Burras and came from Oxford Botanical Gardens. The magazine BBC Gardeners’ World is a tie-in to the programme. Most of its episodes have been 30 minutes in length, although there are many specials that last longer. The 2008 and 2009 series used a 60-minute format as did the 2016 series from episode 23.
Monty Don was born in West Berlin to British parents Denis Thomas Keiller Don, a career soldier posted in Germany, and Janet Montagu (née Wyatt). Both of his paternal grandparents were Scottish, through whom he is descended from botanist George Don, inventors of a brand of marmalade in 1797. On his maternal side, he is descended from the Wyatts, who were a prominent dynasty of architects. Both parents died in the 1980s. Don has a twin sister, an elder brother David, and two other siblings. His twin suffered a broken neck and blindness after a car crash, at the age of 19. Don describes his parents as being “very strict”.
Don was educated at three independent schools: Quidhampton School in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Bigshotte School in Wokingham, Berkshire, and at Malvern College in Malvern, Worcestershire, a college he hated. He then attended a state comprehensive school, the Vyne School, in Hampshire. He failed his A levels and while studying for re-takes at night school, worked on a building site and a pig farm by day. During his childhood he had become an avid gardener and farmer. He was determined to go to Cambridge out of “sheer bloody-mindedness”, attending Magdalene College, where he read English and met his future wife Sarah. He was a Cambridge Half Blue for boxing.