Gardeners World episode 15 2020: At Longmeadow, Monty shows how to prune spring-flowering roses and makes successional sowings of vegetables to ensure continuous crops.
Adam Frost gives tips on helping plants cope with drought conditions and shows how to save precious water. The team meet two sisters from Dorset, who have discovered a new love of gardening and have been supported in their efforts by many followers on social media.
Last year, Frances Tophill went to Hertfordshire to meet a couple of brothers whose gardens are designed with wildlife in mind, and in Bognor Regis, the team visit a gardener who has used unusual materials and bargain plants to create her own dream garden.
Gardeners World episode 15 2020
Grow your own garlic
Not only has the use of garlic in the kitchen increased dramatically in recent years but also the number of gardeners producing their own crop. Garlic is a rewarding, easy-to-grow crop as long as it is grown on well-drained soils.
Choose an open, sunny site and well-drained soil. High humidity around the foliage and wet soils make the crop more prone to disease, particularly if planted in the autumn. Garlic does not thrive on acid soils (below pH 6.5). Reduce acidity by applying lime in autumn and winter.
Prior to planting, improve the soil’s structure, moisture retention and nutrient levels by incorporating organic matter. Apply about two bucketfuls of well-rotted manure or other organic matter such as garden compost every square metre (yard). Avoid using fresh manure.
Little fertiliser is required at planting. On average soils apply a balanced fertiliser such as Growmore at 25g per sq m (1oz per sq yd). Where organic matter was not applied, double the amount of fertiliser.
Watering is key to growing plants well, so here we look at how to get it just right. This not only means providing the water our gardens need, but using it wisely. Water is a precious resource and supplies in the UK are under pressure from the effects of climate change, population increase and the need to protect the environment, such as river levels for wildlife.
Water in the mornings, if you can, as this is when the sun comes up and plants will start to use water. The foliage and soil surface is also likely to stay drier for longer than evening watering, discouraging slugs, snails and mildew diseases. Plants start to transpire in sunlight, drawing water from the soil, through their roots, up their stems and out through tiny pores on their leaves called stomata. Evening watering is also fine, as the cooler conditions mean less water is lost to evaporation.
Watering in the heat of the day is not a good idea as much water is lost through evaporation from the surface of the soil and the plants will use water more efficiently if watered in the cooler parts of the day.
As climate change presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water, choosing plants to suit our growing conditions becomes paramount. With some conditioning of the soil and careful watering, there is a considerable range of plants that can tolerate dry conditions once they are established.
Many drought tolerant plants have silver or grey-green leaves, their light leaf colour reflecting the harsh rays of the sun. Some have a coating of fine hairs on their leaves or stems, helping to trap moisture around the plant tissues.
Plants for scent – Gardeners World episode 15 2020
Fragrant plants can add a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of the garden. They are ideal plants for the smaller garden, where the scent of their flowers or foliage can permeate the whole area.
A garden containing powerfully scented winter-flowering shrubs such as Daphne bholua, Mahonia japonica and Lonicera fragrantissima can transform an otherwise bleak and dark season into one that is looked forward to with anticipation. Floral fragrances on warm, summer evenings can be equally pleasurable.
Topiary has been used historically in many different European gardening styles, from early Roman gardens through to modern day. From box balls to yew ‘peacocks’, it is so versatile and striking that many are inspired to create their own piece of living architecture.
Topiary is the art of training plants (typically evergreen shrubs and trees) into intricate or stylized shapes and forms. The term may also be used more loosely to describe a number of garden features that rely on the close clipping and shaping of plants.
Traditional subjects for topiary have usually been evergreens to retain a permanent feature throughout the seasons. Typically box (Buxus sempervirens) and yew (Taxus baccata) are used, however other evergreens such as privet (Ligustrum japonicum), holly (Ilex) and Lonicera nitida can be used.
Trees and shrubs can be bought ready-trained from specialist nurseries; these save time and effort, but can be expensive. Also available are plants with topiary frames over the top of them, which allow you to grow your own topiary with a little helping hand. Choose a young, well-proportioned specimen with dense, healthy looking growth, especially near the base.
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 require only minimal pruning. In February, reshape plants by thinning out overcrowded branches. ‘Leggy’ plants can be pruned back by up to two-thirds and the tallest branch can be cut back to encourage bushy growth. Throughout the summer, pinch back the tips of the most vigorous growth, using the thumb and forefinger.
Mature plants may produce unwanted, fast-growing shoots called ‘water shoots’. Remove these when they appear from the main branches at the bottom or middle of the plant and shorten those arising near the branch tips. Be especially watchful for shoots from below the graft on the main stem, and remove such shoots immediately.
How to keep your greenhouse cool
Greenhouses, whether of glass or plastic, can overheat in sunny weather. Plants can be protected from excess heat by shading and ventilation. Greenhouses are vulnerable to overheating from spring until autumn. Without protection from heat, few plants are likely to survive unharmed when subjected to prolonged high levels of heat and dry atmosphere within a greenhouse or conservatory.
However, with sufficient air circulation, humidity and shading, many plants will tolerate high summer greenhouse or conservatory temperatures in the same way that they survive in the tropics and subtropics where many greenhouse and conservatory plants originate.
The aim of gardeners is to prevent leaf temperature rising to levels at which tissue damage occurs. By September, shading should be reduced gradually, and removed as soon as ventilation alone can control overheating. Blinds and netting used for shading can be deployed on cold winter nights to limit heat losses.