In Gardeners World episode 29 2015, Monty Don is at Longmeadow with a host of seasonal jobs to keep his autumn garden looking beautiful for as long as possible. And in the third of her fascinating films about how plants work, Carol Klein investigates the science of stems.
Gardeners World episode 29 2015:
Plant amaryllis bulbs
Now is the perfect time to plant amaryllis bulbs for flowering over Christmas and the New Year. Give them a head start by soaking the roots in tepid water overnight, taking care not to immerse the bulb itself. It is thought that the bulbs will produce a better display if their roots are constricted, so choose a pot that is slightly wider than the bulb itself, with enough depth for the roots to grow. Fill the pot with free-draining compost and plant so that two-thirds of the bulb remains above the surface. Gently firm in and water before placing somewhere warm and light.
Cloche salad crops
As the weather gets colder, it’s worth protecting your salad crops with a layer or two of fleece or a cloche. If you’re using a cloche, leave the ends open to discourage grey mould.
Sow sweet peas
To ensure an early display next year, it’s worth sowing a batch of sweet peas now. Sow two seeds in 9cm (3in) pots, label and water before placing somewhere sheltered. They will germinate perfectly well without any heat, but will need protecting from slugs.
It may not be the most glamorous of winter tasks but cleaning out greenhouses, gutters and water butts is an important one. Cleaning greenhouses, whether glass or plastic, greatly improves the growing environment for plants. By removing the algae, moss and grime it lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases too.
Bedding plants and displays
From elaborate public garden designs and street planters to the smallest front garden, bedding plants provide a temporary decorative seasonal display for beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets. Bedding can be grown from seed, bought as young seedlings (plug plants) or purchased as pot-grown specimens, often in multi-packs and cellular trays, ready for planting.