The Beechgrove Garden episode 18 2020: It’s hot stuff for Carole in her countryside garden with her chilies and peppers, but she is as cool as a cucumber in her polytunnel. Meanwhile, Kirsty tries out an easy-to-use propagator at home to make new on-trend houseplants for free.
After a break to visit family, Sophie is back in her Aberdeen allotment, where she finds that the allotment community have kindly looked after her patch while she was away.
Beechgrove is a hardy annual TV gardening series which sets out to deal with, glory in and celebrate Scottish horticulture and growing conditions. 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 Beechgrove Garden episode 18 2020
How to grow chilli pepper
Home grown chilli peppers have excellent colour, texture and flavour, including many shapes and colours not readily available in shops. Plants are extremely varied; some have a mild flavour, while others are so fiery that they’ll blow your head off. Chillies can be grown in the ground, but are perfect for raising in pots.
Chilli peppers can be started off from seed sown indoors from late winter until the middle of spring. Fill a 10cm (4in) pot with good quality seed compost, flatten it down to leave a level surface, then sow a few seeds on top. Most seeds will germinate, so only sow a few more than you need in case of losses. Cover with a fine layer of vermiculite, pop in a plant label and water.
Seeds will germinate quickly in a heated propagator, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. Simply place a clear plastic freezer bag over the top of the pot and hold securely in place with an elastic band.
After the seeds have germinated, remove the pot from the propagator and place on a light windowsill or on the bench in a heated greenhouse. When they are 2.5cm (1in) tall prick out seedlings, moving each into their own 10cm (4in) pot. Make sure the roots are well covered and the leaves are just above the surface of the compost. Water and place in a light spot indoors.
How to grow cucumbers
You can grow cucumbers in the ground, pots or in growing bags. Home-grown cucumbers taste fabulous. Choose the type that’s right for you – some can be grown outside, some indoors. Outdoor cucumbers can be sown directly into the soil in late May and early June – or you can buy small plants from the garden centre.
Start cucumbers off by sowing seeds from mid-February to mid-March if you have a heated greenhouse or similar environment, or in April if you have an unheated greenhouse. Sow seeds on their side, 1cm (½in) deep in pots.
Sow seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep indoors in late April. Alternatively, sow directly outside in late May or early June and cover the soil above the seeds with fleece, a cloche or glass jar. This method can work well in southern regions and in warm summers.