Episode 28

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Gardeners' World, 2012 Episode 28 of 31

Duration: 30 minutes

With the first frosts beginning to bite, Monty Don takes some practical steps to preserve and protect tender plants like cannas and shares tips on how to over-winter dahlias. Also, with an eye on next spring, Monty plants up containers with tulips and pansies as well as planting out wallflowers grown from seed. Now is also the perfect time to plant apple trees and Monty will be sharing advice on planting and training step-over apples.

Carol Klein will be at Glebe Cottage demonstrating just how easy it is to make more of our favourite plants for free by taking cuttings from their roots. As well as giving an insight into which plants can be reproduced in this way, she'll also be giving us a practical guide on how to do this type of propagation.

In the gardens of West Dean in Sussex, Joe discovers a fantastic collection of fruit which has been trained to take up the minimum of space but which yields maximum crops. He finds out not only how it is done but also how fruit grown in this way is ideal for smaller gardens.

  • Rose pruning

    Rose pruning

    Monty tackles an unruly climber (Rosa ‘Madame Grégoire Staechelin’). Climbers can be pruned from autumn until early spring but the advantage of doing it now reduces the risk of extreme weather damaging heavy, overhanging branches. Many gardeners think of pruning as a daunting task –but it doesn’t have to be that way. Watch the clip of Monty pruning again and for more information visit the RHS website:

    Rose pruning: climbing roses
  • Root cuttings with Carol

    Root cuttings with Carol

    It’s easy to take root cuttings from many plants. In the programme Carol takes cuttings off the roots of wood anemones, Japanese anemones and verbascum. To watch all the action again, simply have a look at the clip. The technique is also applicable to root cuttings of many popular herbaceous plants and shrubs:

    Try taking vertical root cuttings from:

    Verbascum chaixii
    Papaver orientale
    Acanthus spinosus
    Anchusa azurea 'Loddon Royalist'
    Crambe cordifolia

    And try some horizontal root cuttings from:

    Anemone hupehensis
    Phlox paniculata
    Elaeagnus angustifolia 'Quicksilver'
    Rubus cockburnianus
    Geranium sanguineum

  • Monty plants wallflowers

    Wallflowers are easily raised from seed and when sown in May, resultant plants are now ready to be planted in their final flowering positions. Many garden retailers have ready-grown wallflower plants perfect for planting now. They are usually available in a range of colours. Monty is growing a deep red flowered variety called ‘Blood Red’.
    Wallflowers are members of the brassica family and are therefore related to cabbages, cauliflowers and kale. This means they need similar growing conditions and are susceptible to the same pests and diseases. One of the biggest banes of a brassica grower’s life is the disease called clubroot. This disease affects the roots of brassicas and can eventually kill the plants.

  • National Apple Day

    National Apple day is held on October 21st every year. It’s an annual celebration of apple, orchards and local distinctiveness. Initiated by Common Ground in 1990 it has since been celebrated each year by people organising hundreds of local events.

    Apple events
  • Fruit garden featured

    Fruit garden featured

    West Dean Gardens near Chichester in West Sussex is a fantastic place to enjoy the autumn. The gardens are open until the end of October where the fruit gardens are looking sensational. Joe Swift spoke with Jim Buckand, Gardens Manager, to find out how he trains the fruit into the wide range of shapes and sizes found in the garden.

    West Dean
  • Apple planting

    When choosing an apple tree to grow in your garden think of it in two parts. The first is the tasty top part – the variety of apple you want to eat. The lower part of the tree - the rootstock - determines how vigorous the tree will be. It is common sense to choose a less vigorous ( or dwarf) rootstock if you want to grow low growing, stepover apples; and conversely if you want a large, orchard style tree then a vigorous rootstock is needed. In theory you can grow any variety of apple you want on any rootstock you want – commercial fruit tree suppliers often have a bespoke grafting service. They also have all the information and advice you need when choosing your tree! Stepovers are usually grafted onto a rootstock called M27. This is an extremely dwarf growing rootstock ideally suited to support a tree that you only want to grow 45 cm or so high. There are many other rootstocks available so talk to your garden retailer about them.

    There’s one final point to consider before you plunge into variety selection and planting. When choosing an apple variety to train into a stepover or one of the many shapes seen at West Dean Gardens, West Sussex, make sure it is a spur bearing variety (see Related Links, above right)

    More on rootstocks
  • JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: Tidy up hellebore leaves

    Some of the leaves on your hellebores may be infected with hellebore blight. It is best to pick these off to ensure you see the full glory of the blooms early next year.

    Hellebore leaf spot
  • JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: Store wood ash

    The ash from wood burning stoves and fires is an invaluable source of potash for the garden. This nutrient is easily and quickly lost from the soil so it is best to store the ash over winter for use in spring when plants are growing. It is fantastic for all fruit and flowers. Store the ash in sacks or sprinkle on compost heaps, avoiding putting thick layers on the heap all at once.

  • JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: Clear chicory leaves

    The outer leaves of chicory can become damaged as the year progresses. Pick off these older leaves to ensure good air circulation around the tasty new growth.


Monty Don
Carol Klein
Joe Swift
Series Producer
Liz Rumbold


This week's expert advice

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