Tender vegetables, bedding plants and bees are the focus of Monty’s gardening at Longmeadow as he plants out squashes and scented annuals and harvests honey.
Adam Frost is in London looking at how small spaces in the metropolis can be utilised to make gardens for wildlife, food and relaxation. And we visit north Wales to meet a man with a passion for prehistoric plants.
In Gardeners World episode 12 2016:
1. Prepare nettle and comfrey feeds
Making your own plant feed can be rewarding albeit a little smelly. Nettles make a feed which is high in nitrogen and great for leafy green growth. Comfrey is high in potassium but also contains nitrogen and phosphate, making it useful for leafy growth but also for flower and fruit production. To make the feeds, fill a bucket with nettle or comfrey leaves. Use gloves when harvesting – we know nettles sting but comfrey also has irritant hairs on it!
Roughly chop up the contents and add more leaves if there is space. Fill to the brim with water and set aside somewhere for about four weeks. Cover the brew as this will help reduce the smell and prevent heavy rain from watering down the liquid. When the brew is ready, dilute 1:10 or 1:20 (aiming for a tea-coloured liquid) and water on to plants.
2. Plant out pumpkins and squashes
Make sure shop-brought or seed-raised squashes and pumpkins are hardened off before planting out. Create a depression in soil that has been enriched with organic matter and plant at the base. The depression in the soil helps water accumulate around the plant itself rather than run off and the organic matter will feed the plants as they grow. Bush and trailing squashes will need different amounts of space; check the seed packet for exact planting distances.
3. Tie-in climbing plants
Climbing plants are growing rapidly at this time of year and if not tied in to supports will end up scrambling along the ground or, worse still, being pulled off fences and walls by their own increasing weight. Tie in new growth now to prevent damage and also to make the most of flowers which may be drooping down. Keeping your climbers well supported also simplifies autumn and winter pruning as you’ll be able to see the plant’s structure more easily.