In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim is dealing with hardy veg in the veg plot, while Carole is starting off some tender veg in the polytunnel. Brian Cunningham, head gardener of Scone Palace, is back at Beechgrove to finish the new alpine garden planting.
Carole also visits Mike and Sue Thornley at Glenarn Gardens in Rhu, near Helensburgh. This garden dates back to the 1920s and 30s and is best known for its stunning collection of tender rhododendrons that are planted in a sheltered Himalayan glen.
|The Beechgrove Garden ep.9 2016|
This year as last, both Jim and Carole have each taken on an 8 x 6 greenhouse and are using them to show just what can be grown in a small glasshouse.
This year Jim in his 8 x 6 greenhouse is representing a little bit of everything that the domestic gardener at home would have – so a couple of tomatoes, a cucumber and a pepper all grown in the Quadgrow system, which means even watering and even feeding for the plants. This is great as it means that you can confidently go off on your holidays knowing that your plants will be kept watered and fed all by themselves.
The heating in this house is effected by using a second-hand beer pump which keeps the greenhouse frost free over winter using the beer cooler as a heat pump.It is based on along length of pipe buried in the ground which collects the abundant low grade solar heat stored in the ground. This system was the brain child of Marek Mazilowski.
Over winter in 2010 we did a small observation to compare the cost of heating to a minimum of 5C in two houses – one with a conventional electric heater the other with the beer cooler, we found that the latter cost only one third of the cost of the electric. However this is something that is not available on the market, you do have to be a good diy’er.
Each of the pots in the Quadgrow has a Feeder Mat which pulls water up from the Smart Reservoir into the soil around the roots as and when the plant needs it. The 4-pot Quadgrow planter keeps plants perfectly fed and watered for 14 days at a time and produces 2x bigger harvests compared to pots & grow bags.
The other things that Jim has in this greenhouse are a cross section of young plants being propagated, some growing on, some resting.First off Jim mentioned Pelargonium ‘Welling’ which has been flowering wonderfully, but has got somewhat out of hand, so the trick is to take cuttings from it now. Jim had brought some cuttings of Fuchsias and Pelargoniums of his own from home, which had been in a little propagator. When you are ready to pot these on, good practice would be to keep them in the same atmosphere as before, but of course there is no room when all are potted seperately, so the best thing is to take them out of the propagator prior to potting on to harden off a little on the bench.
Once they have been potted on they can be put back straight out on the bench. It is important also in early summer, to keep a moist atmosphere around plants, so the pots are sitting on moist capillary matting, and keep misting regularly.The dwarf cyclamen which flowered earlier on in the year have been kept going by watering and feeding for a few weeks now, at this point it is time to place the pots, on their sides underneath the bench for the corms to dry out. An important factor to consider at this time of year is getting the greenhouse shading in place. Jim is using a removable fabric windbreak netting.