The Beechgrove Garden episode 1 2020: Beechgrove springs back onto our screens in home-grown style. For the first time ever, Beechgrove sees all the presenters giving weekly updates from their own patches of Scotland. Carole, George, Brian and Kirsty reflect on where we all are, at home and in the garden.
In this episode, Carole in Aberdeenshire uses a bag for life to plant tatties, we have a sneak preview of the beautiful bulbs, George is entering for a virtual flower show and in her Edinburgh flat, Kirsty shows that you don’t need a garden to grow things. Meanwhile, in Scone, the question for Brian is to mow or not to mow.
Beechgrove is and always has been a firmly practical, get-your-hands-dirty gardening programme which delights in success but also learns from failures in the garden and never takes itself too seriously. The majority of the programme is set in our built for purpose Beechgrove Garden site near Aberdeen. From our garden, the presenters give advice on what you could and should be doing in your garden each week. We cover as many gardening topics as possible, ranging from aerating the lawn to zapping pest problems, and everything in between.
The Beechgrove Garden episode 1 2020
Potatoes are a versatile vegetable that is eaten all year round. The tubers vary in size, colour, texture and taste and can be grown from spring to autumn.
Potatoes require an open, frost-free site with deep, fertile, moisture-retentive and crumbly soil for high quality and heavy yields. Improve soils by adding organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, in the autumn. Before planting, supplement with a general fertilizer, such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone, applied to the soil surface or spread along the sides of the drill during sowing, at the rate of 1kg per 10m (2.2lb per 33ft) row. Half of this amount will be enough if the garden is known to be fertile.
Once chitted (see propagation section below), seed tubers can be planted in a drill or individual holes and earthed up as they grow.
Plant early potatoes in early April, with later cultivars being planted mid-April. In northerly districts and during adverse weather, you can delay planting up to mid-May. Potato ‘seed’ tubers are also offered in late summer for a winter or Christmas crop and these can be productive in greenhouses, but planted outdoors they are vulnerable to blight disease and frost. Potatoes can be successfully grown in containers.
Some of our favourite garden plants are bulbs, including daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, crocus, lilies and gladioli. Planted while they are dormant, it usually takes just a few months for them to grow and bloom. They really are the buried treasure of the garden.
The cultivation techniques used to grow bulbs are quite simple but, because they can be grown in containers, borders and also naturalised in grass or under trees, there are several methods for planting. They are popular for indoor flowers at Christmas.
All bulbs need adequate water while in growth, and for six weeks after flowering. Check pots to make sure they don’t dry out during the growing period. The compost should feel moist but not wet to the touch.
Apply a general-purpose fertiliser, such as Growmore (35g per square metre/1 oz per square yard), to borders in late February to encourage bulbs to flower well in the following season. In containers, use a liquid high-potassium feed, such as tomato fertiliser, from early spring until six weeks after flowering.
How to mow your lawn
A nicely kept lawn sets off a garden. Mowing correctly from March to October will keep the grass looking its best – in general this means cutting twice a week in summer and once a week in spring and autumn.