Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 21: Monty Don undertakes more seasonal jobs at Longmeadow. Arit Anderson meets a garden designer in Somerset who has worked in harmony with nature to create a garden on a former brownfield site, and Rachel de Thame explores the London garden of hairstylist Sam McKnight.
A grower from Suffolk shares her obsession with tomatoes, and there’s a gardener who has created a Japanese-inspired garden at his home in Bristol. And more viewers share what they’ve been getting up to in their gardens.
Across the country `Gardeners’ World’ presenters, from their own gardens and homes, give advice and share their knowledge to enable people to get the most out of their gardens. For further inspiration, professionals, horticulturists and hobby gardeners provide fellow green-fingered enthusiasts with useful tips and suggestions, no matter the size of garden or level of expertise. Whether it is creating depth in a small, backyard garden or how to make the most of the latest spinach crop with homemade pesto, presenters prove that the possibilities are endless for any gardener and garden.
Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 21
Growing your own tomatoes is simple and just a couple of plants will reward you with plenty of delicious tomatoes through the summer. They’re ideal for growing in containers, either outdoors in a sunny spot or in a greenhouse, and there’s a whole array to try, from tiny sweet cherry tomatoes to full-flavoured giant beefsteaks.
Cordon (or indeterminate) tomatoes grow tall, up to 1.8m (6ft), and require tall supports. They are great for growing in a greenhouse, but will also do well in a sunny spot outdoors, either in the ground or in large pots against a south-facing wall. They are useful when space is limited, as plants grow vertically, tall and narrow, and produce a heavy crop. They require regular maintenance – watering, feeding, tying to supports and pinching out side-shoots.
Bush (or determinate) tomatoes are shorter and wider, great for smaller gardens, pots and growing bags. Smaller types can also be grown in hanging baskets, with the stems trailing over the sides. These are the easiest type to grow and need little maintenance apart from watering and feeding. The stems don’t usually need support, except if heavily laden with fruit.
Check seed packets or plant labels before buying, to ensure you get the right type to suit your needs. There are also lots of varieties to choose from, offering fruits of various sizes, shapes, flavours and textures. Fruit colours range from traditional red to dark purple, pink, orange, yellow or green, and even striped. There are heirloom varieties, grown for many generations, as well as modern, blight-resistant choices. There are miniature round fruits, elongated plum varieties, smooth uniform salad tomatoes and huge, wrinkled, mis-shapen beefsteaks, all full of flavour and with their own individual characters.
Wildflower meadows are an alternative to lawns and borders, and can provide a display for many months. Choose from annual meadows that provide a one-off show or perennial meadows that persist from year to year.
Wildflower seed merchants supply mixtures of wildflowers and grasses suitable for various soil types and situations. Choose one that suits your local conditions. Where possible, obtain seed of British origin. It is advisable not to take plants from the countryside and repeated seed collection would be likely to have a destructive effect on many species over time. In some cases, it also can be illegal.
Sow during March and April or in September, depending on soil conditions. On lighter soils, autumn-sown seeds generally germinate and establish quickly, although some will not come up until the following spring. This delay makes it advisable to wait until March or April on heavy soils, as waterlogging may cause the seed and seedlings to rot during winter.
Please note that garden ‘wildflower’ seed mixes and/or plants (which may contain non-natives or be of unknown provenance) should not be sown in the wider countryside or close to environmentally sensitive areas. They should also never be sown without a landowner’s permission.