In this Beechgrove Garden episode 3 2016, the gardening magazine, Jim investigates digging. He grows two sets of vegetables side by side to compare how digging affects them.
Brian Cunningham, head gardener of Scone Palace, is redesigning the alpine garden at Beechgrove, while George takes a tour of 19th-century Braco Castle garden with head gardener Jodie Simpson.
In Beechgrove Garden episode 3 2016:
This week at the Beechgrove Garden it was a typical spring day with a real mixed bag of weather. It’s been up to 15°C during the day and 6 °C at night in Jim’s own garden but in between times he has been scraping the ice off his car windscreen. Carole was on a mission to save the Mahoniain the calendar border from being pruned by George (after recent week’s pruning frenzy).
As George pointed out however, it was flowering right at the top of the plant, so could be encouraged to flower lower down by giving it a prune.
1. Vegetable crops
At Beechgrove Jim is always on the look-out for a ploy to trick Mother Nature to extend the growing season. The soil in the main veg plot is too cold and wet to sow seeds or plant into at the moment so Jim wanted to gain some time by planting onions sets (variety ‘Sturon’) into pots. This means that whilst the ground is warming up outside, the onion setts will have started growing in pots and be around 4 -6 weeks ahead. The result will be that we will have an earlier or even bigger crop, we hope.
2. Dig or no dig?
In the Side Border at Beechgrove Jim and George were setting up with two 5×2 metre plots, to create one ‘no dig’ plot and the other a ‘dig’ plot. Jim’s background to this observation was this: There has been significant interest in this philosophy over the years, and in fact nearly 20 years ago Beechgrove did have a permaculture plot, but he felt that it is time to have another go at it on a much smaller scale and with modifications on the original. We will try to answer the question often asked ‘why do we need to dig’?
3. Alpine Garden Makeover
Back in early March in the snow, Carole and Brian Cunningham (Head Gardener, Scone Palace and alpine enthusiast) started to revamp the Alpine Garden at Beechgrove. The garden was originally designed and built by Lesley Watson in 1998. It’s gone through a few modifications since but as part of our 20 years in this garden is being treated to an makeover. Carole and Brian first went through the plants to be saved. The willow had outgrown the site however the Daphne retusa
and some crocus, both in pots, were worth saving as well as the Picea.