Gardeners World episode 5 2017

Gardeners World episode 5 2017

In Gardeners World episode 5 2017: Monty gives his advice on the best apples and pears to grow in small spaces when he begins to plant up his new fruit garden and gets on with planning for colour when he plants summer flowering bulbs.




As April gets underway, Carol Klein chooses the humble primrose as her plant of the month, and we meet a couple from Yorkshire who have a passion for growing fruit and have filled their garden with over 100 fruit trees. And as part of the programme’s 50th anniversary, Joe Swift makes the case for his golden jubilee plant, the one he thinks has had the most impact on British gardens over the last half century.

Gardeners World episode 5 2017

Grow Your Own Broccoli

Broccoli has had a resurgence in popularity – for its high vitamin content and anti-cancer agents. It is a fast-growing and easy-to-grow crop, producing bluish-green heads that are harvested in the summer or autumn, depending on the time it is sown. The sprouting types – white or purple sprouting – are hardy and overwintered for harvest in spring, filling the gap between sprouts and spring cabbage.

Growing your own broccoli is a rewarding and healthy endeavor. Follow these steps to ensure a successful and bountiful broccoli harvest:

  1. Choose the right variety: Broccoli comes in a variety of types, such as Calabrese, Romanesco, and Purple Sprouting. Select a variety that suits your climate and taste preferences.
  2. Start seeds indoors: About 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost, start your broccoli seeds indoors. Fill seed trays or small pots with a seed-starting mix, plant the seeds about 1/4-inch deep, and keep the soil consistently moist. Place the trays in a warm area with temperatures around 70-75°F (21-24°C) and provide ample light.
  3. Harden off seedlings: Gradually expose your seedlings to outdoor conditions for about a week before transplanting. Start with a few hours of outdoor exposure per day and gradually increase the time spent outside.
  4. Prepare the planting area: Choose a location with well-draining soil and full sun exposure (at least 6 hours of sunlight per day). Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its nutrient content and structure.
  5. Transplant seedlings: After the last frost, transplant your hardened-off seedlings into the garden, spacing them about 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart. Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were in their pots.
  6. Water and fertilize: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply and regularly, especially during dry spells. Fertilize with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or side-dress with compost every 4-6 weeks.
  7. Mulch: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the plants to help conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain consistent soil temperature.
  8. Provide support: If your broccoli plants are tall or have heavy heads, provide stakes or cages for additional support.
  9. Pest and disease control: Regularly inspect your plants for pests, such as aphids, cabbage worms, and slugs. Remove pests by hand or use organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap. Prevent diseases by practicing crop rotation and removing infected plants promptly.
  10. Harvest: Broccoli is ready to harvest when the main head is firm, tight, and dark green. Cut the main stem at an angle, about 5-8 inches (13-20 cm) below the head, leaving some leaves on the plant. This will encourage the growth of smaller side shoots that can be harvested later.

Enjoy your homegrown broccoli in various dishes, including stir-fries, salads, and soups. Properly stored in the refrigerator, fresh broccoli should last about a week. For longer storage, consider blanching and freezing your harvest.

Apples and pears: growing and training as cordons – Gardeners World episode 5 2017

Cordons allow you to grow a useful amount of fruit in even a small garden. Cordon training is suitable for all apples and pears that bear fruit on short side shoots (spur-bearing). Growing apples and pears as cordons is an efficient and attractive method for small gardens, allowing you to grow a variety of fruit in a limited space. Cordons are single-stemmed, fruit-bearing trees trained at a 45-degree angle. This training method promotes fruit production, minimizes the risk of disease, and makes harvesting easier.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on growing and training apple and pear trees as cordons:

  1. Choose suitable varieties: Select apple and pear varieties that are compatible with cordon training. Look for dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks, such as M9 or M26 for apples and Quince C or Quince Eline for pears.
  2. Planting: Plant young trees (whips) in the late fall or early winter when they are dormant. Space them 2.5-3 feet (75-90 cm) apart, with the cordon angled at approximately 45 degrees from the ground. Attach the stem to a support (such as a sturdy cane or wire) to maintain the angle. Make sure the tree’s graft union is at least 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil level.
  3. Pruning and training: Prune the main stem to encourage branching. In the first winter, cut the central leader back by about one-third, making a clean cut just above an outward-facing bud. During the first growing season, allow three to four laterals (side shoots) to grow. These will become the fruiting branches.
  4. Summer pruning: In the summer, prune the new lateral growth to maintain the cordon shape. Remove any shoots growing directly towards or away from the wall or support. Shorten the remaining laterals to 3-4 leaves above the basal cluster of leaves. This will help channel the tree’s energy into fruit production.
  5. Winter pruning: In the following winter, prune the laterals again, cutting them back to 1-2 buds above the previous year’s growth. Continue this process each winter to encourage fruiting spurs to form.
  6. Thinning fruit: Thin the developing fruit to prevent overcrowding and ensure larger, better-quality fruit. Leave one fruit per cluster, spaced 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) apart.
  7. Watering and feeding: Water the trees regularly, particularly during dry spells. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring, and top-dress with well-rotted compost or manure in the fall.
  8. Pest and disease control: Regularly inspect your trees for pests and diseases. Use organic controls, such as neem oil or insecticidal soap, for common pests like aphids and caterpillars. Prevent diseases by pruning to maintain good air circulation and removing infected plant material promptly.
  9. Harvesting: Apples and pears are typically ready to harvest in late summer or early fall. Harvest the fruit when it’s easily detachable from the tree with a slight twist.

Growing apples and pears as cordons not only saves space but also provides a visually appealing element to your garden. With proper care and maintenance, you’ll enjoy a bountiful harvest of homegrown fruit.

Growing in containers: Lilies – Gardeners World episode 5 2017

Lilies grow well in containers, where they can be positioned for maximum effect in the garden. It’s a great way to grow these stunning plants, especially if you can’t grow them in your garden. Growing lilies in containers can be a great way to add a burst of color and fragrance to your outdoor space. Here are some tips for successfully growing lilies in containers:

  1. Choose the right container: Lilies prefer a container that is at least 12 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the bulb and some soil around it. Terra cotta pots work well as they allow for good drainage.
  2. Soil mix: Use a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. You can also add perlite or sand to improve drainage.
  3. Planting depth: Plant the bulb with the tip facing up and cover it with 2-3 inches of soil. Make sure the bulb is planted deep enough to prevent it from drying out, but not so deep that it struggles to push through the soil.
  4. Watering: Lilies prefer moist but not waterlogged soil. Water your lilies deeply once a week and more frequently during hot and dry weather.
  5. Fertilizing: Fertilize your lilies with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
  6. Sunlight: Lilies prefer full sun to partial shade. Place your container in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  7. Overwintering: In colder climates, lilies may need to be overwintered indoors. Once the foliage has died back, move the container to a cool, dark place and keep the soil slightly moist. You can bring the container back outside in the spring once the danger of frost has passed.

By following these tips, you can successfully grow lilies in containers and enjoy their beautiful blooms throughout the growing season.

Ornamental grasses: cutting back

Ornamental grasses fall into two main groups, evergreen and deciduous. Deciduous grasses need cutting back annually so that they will look their best. Evergreens just require a tidy-up. Cutting back ornamental grasses is an important part of their care and maintenance. Here are some tips on when and how to cut back ornamental grasses:

  1. Timing: The best time to cut back ornamental grasses is in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. This is also a good time to divide the clumps if necessary.
  2. Tools: Use a sharp pair of shears, pruners, or a hedge trimmer to cut back the grasses. Wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid cuts and scratches.
  3. Cutting height: Cut the grasses back to a height of 2-3 inches above the ground. You can cut them shorter if necessary, but avoid cutting into the crown of the plant.
  4. Cleaning up: Gather the cut stems and dispose of them in a compost pile or yard waste bin. Removing the old growth helps to promote new growth and prevents the plants from becoming too crowded.
  5. Evergreen grasses: Some types of ornamental grasses, such as evergreen grasses, may not need to be cut back. Instead, you can remove any dead or damaged foliage as needed throughout the year.

By following these tips, you can keep your ornamental grasses looking healthy and attractive year after year.

Grow Your Own: Rhubarb – Gardeners World episode 5 2017

Rhubarb is an attractive hardy perennial with large leaves and pink, red or greenish leaf stalks that are used as a dessert, often in pies and crumbles. Stems are usually picked in spring, but plants can be covered with pots to produce an early crop of blanched stalks in late winter. The flavour of rhubarb varies in sweetness depending on the age of the stems.

Rhubarb is a popular and easy-to-grow perennial vegetable that is well-suited for home gardens. Here are some tips for growing your own rhubarb:

  1. Planting: Rhubarb can be planted in the spring or fall, but spring planting is recommended. Choose a location that gets full sun or partial shade and has well-drained soil. Space the plants 3 to 4 feet apart.
  2. Soil preparation: Before planting, amend the soil with compost or aged manure to improve drainage and fertility. The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 6.8 for best results.
  3. Watering: Rhubarb needs regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water deeply once a week and more frequently during hot weather.
  4. Fertilizing: Rhubarb is a heavy feeder and benefits from regular applications of fertilizer. Use a balanced fertilizer in the spring and again after harvest.
  5. Harvesting: Rhubarb can be harvested in the second or third year after planting. Harvest stalks when they are at least 12 inches long and thick enough to be picked without breaking. Pull the stalks gently and twist them to remove them from the plant. Do not harvest all the stalks at once, as this can weaken the plant.
  6. Maintenance: Keep the area around the rhubarb plants weed-free and remove any dead leaves or stalks to prevent diseases. Divide the plants every 5-6 years to maintain their vigor.

By following these tips, you can enjoy fresh and delicious rhubarb from your own garden for many years to come.

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