At Longmeadow in Gardeners World episode 21 2015, Monty Don’s box hedges are still riddled with blight, so it’s time to call in an expert to decide on the next course of action. He also has a go at growing some mushrooms in the hope of picking a bumper crop in the autumn. Meanwhile, Rachel de Thame visits the garden at Highclere Castle in Berkshire – the filming location for Downton Abbey.
Gardeners World episode 21 2015:
Grow your own mushrooms
Mushrooms are virtually fat and calorie-free and packed full of vitamins and minerals – an 80g serving counts towards your 5-a-day vegetable target. Several companies sell complete mushroom growing kits and instructions on how to grow your own are available online from various sources.
Remove the lower leaves of tomatoes
Tomatoes benefit from having their lower leaves removed once the fruit trusses have developed. This helps to ripen the fruit and improve ventilation around the plants.
There are two types of parsley, flat and curly. It’s a hardy biennial and if sown now, will survive the winter and yield a good crop of leaves next year. It is slow to germinate, so don’t lose heart if the seedlings take several weeks to appear.
Prune gooseberries & redcurrants
Although gooseberries and redcurrants do best in a sunny site, they’ll also thrive in the shade. To keep them nice and compact, it’s worth pruning them after they’ve fruited as they crop on old wood.
Box blight is a fungal disease of box resulting in bare patches and die-back of box, especially in topiary and parterres.
How to grow grapes
Grapes are a welcome addition to any garden or allotment. They can be trained up walls, on trellis or over arches and need very little space if pruned carefully. Vines need reasonably deep, free-draining soil and plenty of sunlight to ripen properly and will happily grow on any good garden soil and sunny site in southern Britain. Indoor cultivation gives better and more reliable crops, especially in northern regions.