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George and Jim are off on a bulb-lover's busman's holiday and indulging in more than a little 'tulip fever' as they visit world-famous Keukenhof Botanic Park near Amsterdam to see the mind-blowing bulb displays.
|The Beechgrove Garden ep.7 2016|
However out of the 30 really only 6 varieties stood out at Beechgrove last year. The challenge was for each of George, Carole, Jim, Chris, and Brian Cunningham to select 6 hardy annual varieties for their own secret mix. The bed was divided into 6 for each of the competitors and the control would be planted in the 6th bed for comparison.George’s mix cost under £10 and had 850 seeds – all about quality. Carole’s mix however was also under £10 and contained 3,000 seeds – all about quantity. Each of the presenters were not giving away their recipes. Each seed mix was combined with sand to bulk it up in order to sow it easily. We will check on progress later in the series.
Carole was in the Greenhouse for the final part of her series on windowsill gardening. This time
it was all about growing microgreens –full of proteins and vitamins making a healthy addition
to snacks and sandwiches, also the latest trend with chefs. Last week Carole recommended
getting an electric propagator to get seedsstarted but the alternative is an unheated propagator which could simply sit on the windowsill.
Any kind of vegetable seed can be harvested as a microgreen and they too are very easy to grow. These are not like the sprouting seeds,here you wait till they have grown to seedling stage, cut them off with scissors - this is thepart you eat.
One example is a radish which can be sown in a tray of compost, covered with more compost
and placed in an unheated propagator. This canthen be harvested for its leaves in a few weeks’time.
Carole had also sown some peas which were starting to germinate. In a few weeks’ time these can be harvested for their shoots.
Carole then demonstrated a couple of kits. The first one contained 3 mats which can be soaked in water. She then simply sowed the pea seeds on top of the mats. It is best to have a light sprinkling of seeds to ensure they do not touch and therefore stop rotting.
The second kit contained a tray which could be washed in the dishwasher and reused. Carole put water into the bottom of the tray.Kitchen towel was placed on top and then seeds were sown onto the towel. Carole recommended misting the seeds with water twice a day until the seeds had developed roots.
To recap: throughout this mini-series Carole has shown how to grow microgreens,mushrooms, herbs, salads and sprouting seeds.A full and productive wee garden on the windowsill.