The Beechgrove Garden ep.11 2016

Scotland's favourite gardening programme.

  In this edition of the gardening magazine, Carole is in the Keder, starting the year's collection of tender vegetables, and Jim is with the allotmenteers of Tillicoultry to discover how the community runs this immaculately presented and organised allotment.
   The gardening charity Scotland's Gardens celebrates its 85th year. To mark the occasion, Carole visits one of their new recruits and newest garden on the list, at Barbara Pickard's no-nonsense but beautiful cottage garden at Balmullo in Fife.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.11 2016
The Beechgrove Garden ep.11 2016
After our break at Gardening Scotland Jim George and Carole were back at the Beechgrove Garden where this week it was a lovely summer’s day with some cloud cover. Jim joined Carole and George in the Low Maintenance Garden admiring Pieris ‘Little Heath’ along the way. Carole had noticed a golden Spiraea which was reverting back to its green form. She removed the green growth to stop the whole plant reverting. It is a good time of year to be doing this.
Jim and Carole also admired the Siberian pea tree - Caragana arborescens - a good small standard tree for a small garden. Extremely hardy too.
Meanwhile under the yellow conifer that Chris had raised the canopy of last year and then subsequently planted toughies to cope with the dry shade conditions lots of weeds had germinated. This area had been mulched with Beechgrove’s own cold compost, George was weeding in here as he had noticed lots of garden worthy seedlings there, amongst the other weeds – including
Tender Vegetables.
This year in the Keder polytunnel Carole is again growing lots of different tender vegetables - including cucumber, winter squash and tomatoes. Firstly Carole looked at the range of cucumbers for this year. Cucumber ‘Baby’ as its name suggests produces small, 3-6 inch long fruits. Carole likes to
support these plants with a string tied to the top of the polytunnel.
The bottom of the string is buried below the plant and the top of the string was tied to the polytunnel support. The plants can be trained up the string as they grow. Carole had also buried small pots alongside each plant for watering. Cucumbers are prone to neck rot if watered directly. By filling the
pots with water this can avoid direct watering. Cucumber ‘Anbar’ is a self-pollinating variety
with longer fruits. Cucumber ‘Greenfit’ can be grown in a cold greenhouse and produces long, straight fruits.Quite a good variety for exhibition purposes.Carole then looked at the winter squashes.
‘Little Gem Rolet’ is a smaller fruited variety. ‘Honey Boat’ is a heritage variety dating back to
the late 1800s.
‘Festival’ produces larger fruits and will take a long time before they can be harvested. Winter
squash can be grown as scrambling or climbing plants. In the polytunnel they are being grown on pea netting for support which will give them plenty of room to grown.
In hanging baskets, Carole was growing some tomatoes. The variety is ‘Cherry Falls’.At the far end of the polytunnel 2 tomato varieties were being grown for a taste test comparison. This included a tried and tested variety at Beechgrove ‘Sungold’ and ‘Sweet Aperitif’ which is claiming to be the ‘sweetest red tomato’. We will grow and test.
Featured plants
Cucumber ‘Anbar’ (Marshalls) – self-pollinating
Cucumber ‘Baby’ (Dobies)
Cucumber ‘Greenfit’ (Suttons) - most reliable in
an unheated greenhouse
Tomato ‘Cherry Falls’ (Mr Fothergills) - for
hanging baskets
Tomato ‘Sungold’
Tomato ‘Sweet Aperitif’ (Thompson & Morgan)
Winter Squash ‘Festival’ (Marshalls)
Winter Squash ‘Honey Boat’ (Dobies)
Winter Squash ‘Little Gem Rolet’ (Kings)