Gardeners World episode 12 2002: Alan Titchmarsh gets going on a new project this week when he starts planting a colour-themed, fragrant border.
Gardeners World episode 12 2002
How to grow citrus fruit
Citrus are not hardy in Britain but can be grown in pots outdoors in summer and brought inside for winter. Of all citrus, most gardeners grow lemons; kumquats are the most cold tolerant; others, like limes and grapefruits, need more warmth. The fragrant flowers can appear all year round, but are especially abundant in late winter. Fruit ripens up to 12 months later, so they often flower and fruit at the same time.
Citrus in pots can be put outdoors in summer, in a sheltered sunny position, but only when temperatures increase, from mid-June until late September. Keep some fleece handy in case of sudden cold nights in early summer. Low temperatures will inhibit flowering and may cause damage or even death.
A minimum winter night temperature of 10°C (50°F) is needed for lemons and limes. Calamondin oranges need a minimum winter night temperature of 13°C (55°F). Kumquats are unusual citrus, as the fruits are eaten whole – including the skin. Plants are naturally very bushy and highly productive. They can tolerate winter temperatures down to 7°C (45°F) – among the hardiest of all citrus.
Whether planted for summer or winter interest, hanging baskets provide valuable colour at eye level. Choose vibrant bedding plants for a short-term show or herbs, shrubs and evergreens for a long-lasting display.
Plant summer hanging baskets from April onwards, but they will need protection from frost until the middle or end of May. If you do not have a greenhouse, it is usually easier to plant in situ once the frosts have passed. Plant winter hanging baskets between September and October, and it doesn’t matter if they are frosted as the plants are should be hardy. You would normally plant up a long-lasting perennial hanging basket from April onwards, depending on the types of plants being used.