The Beechgrove Garden ep.8 2016

In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim is starting off new varieties of tomatoes and he's going to try them in a range of new tomato growing gadgets. Brian Cunningham, head gardener of Scone Palace, is back continuing his revamping of the Beechgrove alpine garden.

 This week, Brian finishes off the hard landscaping and starts the planting. Jim and George's busman's holiday continues in the Netherlands and this time they visit the world's largest cut flower auction at Aalsmeer, near Amsterdam.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.8  2016
The Beechgrove Garden ep.8  2016

This week sees the start of the tomato growing season at Beechgrove. This ear we are trying some new and old tomato varieties and some old tried and tested growing methods as well as some new ones.
One new variety of tomato Jim is growing this year was ‘Tourance’ which will be compared with older varieties that have been grown before at Beechgrove. This new variety is supposed to have excellent disease resistance and very uniform fruits so is good for showing.
Methods Growbags.
3 plants planted in each growbag. Firstly the growbags would need to be puffed up like a pillow bolster before planting. Over the growing season these would gradually go flat however, with not a huge amount of root room.Add Collars.These are placed in the growbags and filled up with compost to 1 inch from the top. They add depth to the growbag and also help with drainage.
Growing bags.
These are the equivalent of growing tomatoes in the ground. However they do require the equivalent of 4 growbags of compost to fill each one.
Gadgets Autopots.
This is an irrigation system which has been used at Beechgrove before. Jim also uses it with great success at home. It has a reservoir which irrigates the autopot system by gravity.
Hozelock planters.
These were trialled last year at Beechgrove and are going to be used for a second year to iron out the watering problems that we had last year. It consists of a trough filled with water with spikes in the
bottom covered with capillary matting. When you place the growbag on top of the spikes it is pierced
The plants are then irrigated by the water taken up by the capillary matting.
Growbag tidy.
This consists of a trough which props up the growbag on its side creating a larger planting depth
for the tomatoes. Jim was not too hopeful of this gadget but it did have built-in supports for the plants.