In the Beechgrove Garden episode 5 2016, Jim is hoping that the soil is now warm enough to plant tatties in the main veggie plot, while on the decking garden Carole is also planting tatties on a tiny scale.
Chris and Carole are going on very different fungal forays in Beechgrove this year. Chris is creating a whole Jurassic Park fungal valley with ancient timbers and all manner of edible mushrooms. Again on the other end of the scale, Carole tries out some windowsill mushroom-growing kits.
George visits Alan Shamash’s impressive hillside garden full of an extensive collection of rhododendrons in Kirkudbright.
The Beechgrove Garden episode 5 2016:
1. Windowsill Gardening
Carole was starting a 3 part mini-series on how to go about productive gardening in the tiniest of all spaces, by growing crops on your windowsill. First up there were sprouting seeds. Carole explained that these can be grains, nuts or pulses. Examples were red clover, alfalfa, and mung beans. The resultant sprouts can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches or added to stir fries. To get them to grow, the first stage is to soak them overnight in water.
This can be anything from 8-24 hours (check seed packets for recommended time). Carole had chickpeas, sunflower seeds and lentils soaking in bowls of water. These are then easy to grow as not much equipment is required –only a jam jar, an elastic band and a pair of tights. Approximately 1 tablespoon of the soaked seeds should be put into the jar. These then need to be rinsed and drained twice a day to stop the seeds becoming mouldy. Once they start to sprout, they can be eaten raw or cooked.
2. Fungal Valley
Whereas Carole was growing her mushrooms intensively on the window sill, Chris has a bigger project in mind for a damp and deeply shaded area near to the stumpery which he created 3 years ago: a fungal valley for Beechgrove so that we can grow and harvest our own mushrooms outside at Beechgrove. Fungi in the wild occur mostly in wooded areas because of all of the rotting wood and leaf litter, and many fungi have a mutually beneficial association with tree roots.
3. Main Vegetable Plot
It was tattie planting time on the main veg plot as the soil temperature had reached 10°C and the weeds were starting to appear so it was time to get the potatoes in the ground. Jim had gently forked over the soil and raked it level.
4. Decking Garden
The Decking area had been given a clean up with a power washer by the gardening team over the winter. This garden is all about growing produce in containers and this year we treated ourselves to some new containers.