Gardeners World episode 1 2020: It is the first day of spring and Monty has sharpened his tools in readiness to open the gardening year, accompanied, of course, by Nigel and Nellie, in the first episode of the series. Monty reflects on how Longmeadow has fared during an extraordinarily wet winter and gets going on a few essential tasks to get the garden into gear for the seasons to come.
With the popularity of houseplants gaining huge momentum, Frances Tophill visits RHS Wisley to find out how to look after the myriad types of indoor plants now available to gardeners. For more container inspiration, the episode introduces an enthusiast who has a passion for plants in pots and curates a display of over one thousand in her Somerset garden.
Gardeners World episode 1 2020
Dividing herbaceous perennials
Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year. It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants. Most perennials benefit from division every two to three years to maintain health and vigour. If you want to increase the number of plants you have by dividing them, the task can be done more regularly.
These are just a few examples of plants that can be divided: Agapanthus, Anemone, Aster, Bergenia (elephant’s ears), Convallaria (lily-of-the-valley) Crocosmia, Dierama, Delphinium, Epimedium, Eryngium (sea holly), Euphorbia, Gentiana (gentian) Geranium, Helianthus, Hemerocallis (daylily), Hosta, Iris, Lychnis, Lysichiton, Lysimachia, ornamental grasses, Primula (primrose) Ranunculus (buttercup), Salvia, Sedum, Verbena, Zantedeschia (arum lily).
Plants can be divided successfully at almost any time if they are kept well-watered afterwards. However, division is most successful when the plants are not in active growth.
Pruning roses – Gardeners World episode 1 2020
These general tips for rose pruning will help you improve the health and lifespan of any rose. Late winter (February or March) is often a good time for pruning roses but see the individual rose profiles above for more specific timing. Perhaps if you’ve inherited a rose or lost the label – you may not know what type of rose you have. In which case, follow our basic tips below to get you started. Prune in February or March.
Very small roses are easy to recognise so follow our guide for patio and miniature roses. Larger roses might be any number of types, from hybrid tea and floribunda to species and shrub roses.
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.
The family Bromeliaceae are epiphytes originating from the southern United States, South America and West Indies, where they grow on trees, stumps and decaying branches. Their colourful bracts last several months, making them ideal house plants, particularly for a warm conservatory or glasshouse.
Characteristically, bromeliads are shallow rooted with leaves frequently formed in a cupped rosette. The flowers are usually small and insignificant in contrast to the showy bracts.
After flowering, the rosette from which the flower was produced will die. However, most plants produce offsets from the base of the plant before flowering and these will form new plants. Plants purchased in flower seldom have offsets but, if you continue to water old plants, basal shoots usually form. Old plants can be kept for two to three years, producing offsets at intervals.
How to plant bulbs in a pot – Gardeners World 2020
A cheerful container of spring bulbs is an easy way to create a splash of colour. By layering bulbs as shown here, you will get colour from lots of different flowers. Planting several pots in the autumn will really give your patio the wow factor in spring.
Growing your own tomatoes is simple and just a couple of plants will reward you with plenty of delicious tomatoes in the summer. There are all sizes of tomatoes to try, from the tiniest cherry types, favourites with children, through to full-flavoured giant beefsteak tomatoes.
Tomatoes generally come in two different growth habits: cordon (or indeterminate) tomatoes grow tall, reaching up to 1.8m (6ft) and require support; bush (or determinate) tomatoes are bushy and don’t require staking. Tomatoes are easy to grow from seed. You can sow seed from late March to early April if you will be growing the plants outdoors. If you are planning on growing your tomatoes in a greenhouse, you can start sowing seed earlier, from late February to mid-March.
Sow in small pots indoors, using a propagator or place the pots in a plastic bag and keep on the windowsill. The young seedlings need to be kept at around 18°C (64°F). Transplant into 9cm (3½in) pots when two true leaves have formed. Young plants are available from garden centres in spring if you don’t have the space to raise tomato seedlings. But they will still require frost-free conditions and hardening off before planting outside.
How to grow pelargoniums
Pelargoniums (often called ‘tender geraniums’) are bright, cheerful summer-flowering plants. If you are looking for a show-stopping bedding plant, a drought-tolerant hanging basket plant or something new for the windowsill or conservatory, pelargoniums make a great choice. There’s plenty to choose from so here are some pointers on which to grow.
Known as Ivy-leaved pelargoniums (because of the shape of their leaves), grow these trailing types in hanging baskets or containers so that their stiff fleshy leaves tumble down the sides. You can pick from a wide range of flower colours and anticipate a long flowering display, still blooming long after most summer baskets have finished.
Aromatic when their leaves and stems are rubbed, Scented-leaved pelargoniums deliver in smell what they sometimes lack in flower power. As well as being scented, the leaves are often attractively lobed, toothed or variegated. Perfect for a greenhouse or conservatory, or in pots on a sunny patio where the heat brings out the best of the volatile oils. There are many different scents to choose from so be warned, it can be addictive to start a collection. Unique pelargoniums also have scented or pungent foliage but usually showier flowers than Scented-leaved types.
Cutting back grasses – Gardeners World episode 1 2020
Ornamental grasses fall into two main groups, evergreen and deciduous. Deciduous grasses need cutting back annually so that they will look their best. Evergreens just require a tidy-up. Deciduous grasses, which turn a golden, straw brown rather than necessarily lose their leaves, need different treatment from those with are evergreen.
Potatoes are a versatile vegetable that is eaten all year round. The tubers vary in size, colour, texture and taste and can be grown from spring to autumn.
Potatoes require an open, frost-free site with deep, fertile, moisture-retentive and crumbly soil for high quality and heavy yields. Improve soils by adding organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, in the autumn. Before planting, supplement with a general fertilizer, such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone, applied to the soil surface or spread along the sides of the drill during sowing, at the rate of 1kg per 10m (2.2lb per 33ft) row. Half of this amount will be enough if the garden is known to be fertile.
Once chitted (see propagation section below), seed tubers can be planted in a drill or individual holes and earthed up as they grow.
Plant early potatoes in early April, with later cultivars being planted mid-April. In northerly districts and during adverse weather, you can delay planting up to mid-May. Potato ‘seed’ tubers are also offered in late summer for a winter or Christmas crop and these can be productive in greenhouses, but planted outdoors they are vulnerable to blight disease and frost.