Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 27: Monty plants garlic, demonstrates how to divide crocosmia and sows ornamental grass seeds. Adam Frost visits Lowther Castle in the Lake District and finds out about its garden restoration project, Toby Buckland meets a passionate gardener in Devon who has created and nurtured her garden over the last sixty years, and a dahlia enthusiast in Cheshire shares the joy of drying her blooms.
In Bristol is a garden where the wildlife takes centre stage, 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 27
A member of the onion family, this staple of Mediterranean cooking is simple to grow in a warm sunny site with well-drained soil. It is grown from cloves, which are best planted in late autumn, and is ready to harvest the following summer. Garlic is grown by planting individual cloves of garlic (rather than sowing seeds), usually in autumn – see Plant, below, for full details. Garlic is generally trouble free and needs little maintenance, apart from watering in dry spells, and regular weeding. Also snip off any flower stems that start to form.
Water garlic during dry spells in spring and early summer, to improve bulb size. However, don’t water once the bulbs are large and well formed, as this could encourage rotting. Yellowing foliage is a sign that the bulbs are reaching this stage of maturity. Try to avoid overhead watering, as it can encourage fungal diseases.
Garlic plants need full sun, so keep weeds at bay to ensure plants don’t get shaded. Weeding is best done by hand, as hoeing risks damaging the developing bulbs. To avoid the need to weed regularly, consider planting through black plastic sheeting or weed-suppressing membrane.
Prior to planting, remove any weeds then improve the soil’s structure, moisture retention and nutrient levels by digging in organic matter. Apply about two bucketfuls of well-rotted manure or garden compost every square metre/yard. Avoid using fresh manure. Little fertiliser is required at planting. On average soil, apply a general-purpose fertiliser at a rate of 25g/1oz per square metre/yard. Where organic matter was not applied, double the amount of fertiliser. To reduce the need for weeding later, you could cover the soil with black plastic sheeting or weed-suppressing membrane, then plant the cloves through slits.
Carefully break up the bulbs into individual cloves or segments. Take care to plant them the right way up, with the flat basal plate facing downwards and the pointed end upwards.
Space the cloves 15cm (6in) apart, with the tip 2.5cm (1in) below the soil surface. In light soil, deeper planting can produce larger bulbs, but don’t plant deeply in heavy soil. Space rows 30cm (1ft) apart. Prevent birds from pulling up newly planted cloves by covering with horticultural fleece until well rooted in.
Crocosmias are multi-flowered perennials that come in a range of fiery colours. Easy to grow, they thrive in a range of soil types, in sun or partial shade. Plant with dahlias, salvias and cannas for a sumptuous mid- to late-summer display.
From clumps of sword-like or pleated leaves, upright, arching stems carry small, funnel-shaped flowers that open in succession. Most are orange, but there are also yellow- and red-flowered cultivars. Some have bronze-tinted foliage. Crocosmias grow well in most soil types, but do best in soil that retains some moisture in summer. They prefer full sun, but also tolerate dappled or light shade. Growth may be stunted in very dry soil. They won’t flower well in deep shade.
Some crocosmias can become invasive. Common montbretia (Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora) has ‘escaped’ from gardens into the wild, where it can crowd out more delicate native species. So it’s best not to grow it if your garden adjoins open countryside. To avoid spreading it in your garden, don’t compost unwanted plants.