Gardeners World episode 2 2020: Gardeners’ World celebrates the snowdrop and visits one of the world’s largest collections, lovingly nurtured in a suburban back garden and Monty gives tips on what to do once they have finished flowering.
At Longmeadow it’s time to get dahlias into growth and, for inspiration, last summer we visited a field full of dahlias in Sussex to get tips from a professional grower. Nick Bailey revels in the beauty of magnolias and Monty has plenty of jobs for us all to be getting on with this weekend.
Gardeners World episode 2 2020
For welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring are on their way, look no further than snowdrops (Galanthus). They are surprisingly varied in height, flower size, shape and even colouring. Given a moist soil they will multiply into drifts and provide plenty of plants to share with fellow gardeners.
There are no requirements to prune or train snowdrops. Simply allow the foliage to die back naturally. Plant freshly-lifted snowdrops when the foliage is just dying back in late spring. If it is not possible to plant in late spring, buying just after flowering when the leaves are still green, (‘in the green’) is the next best way of establishing snowdrops.
These are available from nurseries by mail order in bundles, or in individual pots. Snowdrop bulbs are very prone to drying out, so if sourcing bulbs from a nursery or garden centre is the only option, buy them as soon as they are available and plant immediately. Plant snowdrops in a partly-shaded position in a moist, but well-drained soil with leafmould or garden compost incorporated. It is important that the soil does not dry out in summer
Plant dahlias on free-draining, lighter soils, where they are more likely to survive the winter. While they will grow on heavy soils, you are more likely to need to lift the tender tubers at the end of autumn as they would otherwise suffer when heavy ground gets colder and soggier in winter. All dahlias like a sunny site, ideally with space between them and their neighbours.
As dahlias are tender, you’re best starting the tubers into growth in the greenhouse, then plant them in their flowering site after the frosty days are passed. For most in the UK, this is at the end of May, but in Scotland this is more typically early to mid June. (For an alternative method, see Planting dormant tubers below). If you are raising dahlias from seed, sow these in a propagator in early to mid spring.