Jim, Carole and George take stock of what has happened in the Beechgrove Garden. The sweet peas have scrambled up the nets and are in full, fragrant flower, strawberries and cherries are being harvested in abundance, and the tomatoes are ripening and reddening.
Carole visits Tap o’Noth, an extraordinary organic market garden at the base of an Aberdeenshire hill, to taste what’s on the menu for the early harvest. And Jim visits Dairsie in Fife to see how 12-year-old Fraser White won the Royal Horticultural Society’s coveted Young Gardener of the Year award for 2017.
The Beechgrove Garden episode 12 2018
How to train stepover apples
As gardens get smaller, planting apples trained as step overs is one of the best and most attractive space-saving ways to grow fruit. As the name suggests, the stepover is a low-growing, horizontally-trained tree that can literally be ‘stepped over’. Step overs can be planted along an edge of a path or a bed, and make an excellent divider on an allotment or fruit garden.
Some plants can be propagated from a whole or a part of a leaf. It is an easy way to increase numbers of our favourite indoor plants. Plants such as Streptocarpus, Sansevieria, Eucomis, Sinningia (syn. Gloxinia), Begonia masoniana and B. rex hybrids can be propagated from part-leaf cuttings. Taking whole leaf cuttings is a suitable method of propagation for plants such as Sinningia (syn. Gloxinia), Saintpaulia and Peperomia. Succulents such as Kalanchoe, Echeveria, and Crassula (for example Crassula ovata – the jade plant) are very successful when propagated by leaf cuttings.
Onions and shallots
Onions and shallots are essential vegetables. Most have yellow, white or brown skin and white flesh, but red-skinned and red-flesh cultivars make interesting alternatives. Shallots generally produce smaller bulbs than onions, with a more distinct flavour. They are used for pickling as well as cooking. They are both relatively undemanding crops giving good yields.