Gardeners World episode 26 2017: It is the autumn equinox and, along with celebrating the season’s apple bounty, Monty Don is planning for Christmas, planting bulbs to brighten dark winter days. He also gives advice on planting garlic for next year.
Carol Klein celebrates the sedum, one of the autumn garden’s highlights, Adam Frost gives us an update on the development of his Lincolnshire garden, and we travel to Gloucestershire to visit a garden which is a haven for moths and butterflies.
We also catch up with Alan Power, who guides us through the summer work at Stourhead, and Shaish Alam winds up his growing season with a bumper harvest.
In Gardeners World episode 26 2017:
1. Gardening for butterflies & moths
Gardens are thought to provide an important haven for butterflies in autumn. As food sources start to dwindle in the countryside, the adults rely on late-flowering plants in gardens as a source of nectar.
2. Apple pressing
The apple juice Monty pressed was absolutely delicious and if you’re wondering what to do with your windfalls this year, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend having a go yourself.
3. Raised beds
Raised beds are a great way of growing a wide range of plants, and are particularly popular for growing fruit and vegetables. They are a good way of boosting drainage and can be used to introduce a different soil type to your garden. Raised beds are also a useful way to garden if you have restricted mobility, as they reduce the need to bend.
Raised beds are a great way to grow plants in your garden. They have many benefits, such as:
- Improved drainage and soil quality
- Easier access and maintenance
- Higher yields and less weeds
- More control over the growing conditions
Raised beds can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, stone, or plastic. You can also choose different shapes and sizes to suit your space and preferences. Some common types of raised beds are:
- Rectangular or square beds: These are the most traditional and versatile raised beds. They can fit in any area and allow for efficient planting and harvesting.
- Circular or oval beds: These are more decorative and can create a focal point in your garden. They can also be used to grow crops that need more space, such as corn or sunflowers.
- Keyhole beds: These are circular beds with a notch or opening in the middle. They allow for easy access to the center of the bed, where you can place a compost bin or a water feature.
- Spiral beds: These are circular beds that rise up in a spiral shape. They create a vertical growing space that can be used for herbs, flowers, or strawberries.
To build a raised bed, you will need some basic tools and materials, such as:
- A level and a tape measure
- A saw and a drill
- Screws or nails
- A hammer or a screwdriver
- A shovel and a rake
- A liner or a weed barrier
- Soil and compost
- Plants or seeds
The steps to build a raised bed are:
- Choose a location that gets enough sunlight and has good drainage.
- Mark the outline of the bed with stakes and string.
- Cut the boards or other materials to the desired length and width.
- Assemble the frame by attaching the boards with screws or nails.
- Place the frame on the ground and level it.
- Line the bottom of the bed with a liner or a weed barrier to prevent weeds from growing up.
- Fill the bed with soil and compost, leaving some space at the top for watering.
- Plant your crops according to their spacing and depth requirements.
- Water and mulch your plants regularly.
Raised beds are a simple and effective way to improve your gardening experience. They can help you grow healthy and productive plants in any space. Try making your own raised bed today and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
4. How to store pumpkins & squashes
The ability to store pumpkins and winter squashes for up to six months adds to the pleasure of growing them. However, there are a few guidelines worth following to ensure they store well. Pumpkins and squashes are delicious and nutritious vegetables that can be enjoyed throughout the fall and winter seasons. However, they need proper storage conditions to prevent them from spoiling or losing their flavor and texture. Here are some tips on how to store pumpkins and squashes:
- Choose pumpkins and squashes that are firm, heavy, and free of bruises, cracks, or soft spots. Avoid those that have been exposed to frost or have signs of mold or rot.
- Store pumpkins and squashes in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, such as a basement, cellar, garage, or shed. The ideal temperature range is between 50°F and 60°F (10°C and 15°C). Avoid storing them near apples, pears, or other fruits that produce ethylene gas, which can speed up ripening and decay.
- Check your pumpkins and squashes regularly for any signs of deterioration, such as shriveling, softening, or discoloration. Remove any damaged ones and use them as soon as possible. Do not wash or cut your pumpkins and squashes until you are ready to use them, as this can introduce moisture and bacteria that can cause spoilage.
- Depending on the variety and storage conditions, pumpkins and squashes can last for several weeks to several months. Generally, smaller and thinner-skinned varieties have a shorter shelf life than larger and thicker-skinned ones. For example, acorn squash can last for 1 to 2 months, butternut squash for 2 to 3 months, and pumpkin for 3 to 6 months.
5. How to grow 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. Easy-to-grow crop as long as it is grown on well-drained soils, garlic is a rewarding.
Garlic is a delicious and easy-to-grow herb that can add flavor and health benefits to many dishes. Here are some steps on how to grow garlic from a clove:
- Choose a sunny spot with well-drained, neutral soil. You can also grow garlic in a pot with potting mix, as long as it is at least 8 inches deep.
- Plant garlic in the fall or early spring, depending on your climate. In colder areas, plant garlic 6-8 weeks before the first frost. In warmer areas, chill the garlic bulbs in the fridge for 8 weeks and plant them in early spring.
- Break apart the garlic bulbs and select the largest cloves for planting. Leave the papery skin on the cloves.
- Dig holes 2-3 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart. Plant one clove per hole, with the pointy end up and the root end down.
- Cover the cloves with soil and mulch with straw or leaves to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds.
- Water garlic once a week during the growing season, but stop watering when the leaves start to turn yellow.
- Harvest garlic when the bottom leaves are brown, usually in midsummer. Gently dig up the bulbs and let them dry in a shady, airy place for 3-4 weeks.
- Enjoy your fresh garlic or store it in a cool, dry place for later use.