Episode 16

Image for Episode 16Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Gardeners' World, 2013 Episode 16 of 31

Duration: 30 minutes

With high summer in full swing at Longmeadow, Monty Don is busy ensuring that his plants are making the most of the warmth and light. He puts to use the homemade fertilizer he made a few weeks ago and catches up with his tomato-growing trial to see how the different techniques are performing.

Carol Klein gets to grips with flowering dogwoods, perhaps the most aristocratic and elegant of all garden trees, and there's a visit to a magical topiary garden in Kent.

  • Blossom end rot

    Tomato blossom end rot

    In Monty’s trial, the tomato plants in the grow bag are romping away but their fruit is the first to show signs of blossom end rot. 


    Blossom end rot is a physiological condition caused by an irregular water supply. When water is not constantly available to plant roots, calcium (a key nutrient in the soil or compost) can’t circulate fully around the plant and this leads to cell damage in the fruits.


    Grow bags are notoriously difficult to keep consistently moist as they provide a very limited root space and can be tricky to fill with water. If you use grow bags, take extra care to ensure water is properly absorbed before draining out of the bags and the compost never fully dries out.


    If you see blossom end rot on your tomatoes, don’t worry: affected fruits are inedible but new healthy fruits should form once watering is adjusted.


    More about blossom end rot  (apps.rhs.org.uk)

  • Topiary

    Topiary of a bird

    Topiary is a great gardening tradition which stretches back to Roman times and was revived during the Arts and Crafts period to become a key feature of the British cottage garden.


    If you’re inspired by Charlotte Molesworth’s figures or Monty’s new Nigel project, why not create your own? Now is the season for pruning box, yew and privet but, before you do, consider what shapes the new growth could be trained into. For an instant effect, metal frames can be placed on top or around existing shrubs and trimmed into shape now.


    For a list of gardens to visit and see great topiary, please scroll down to the end of this page.


    More useful information about topiary (apps.rhs.org.uk)

  • Jobs for the weekend: Water in dry weather

    Watering can take up a lot of time at this point in the year so it’s important to do it efficiently. The best way to water is to give plants a soak not a sprinkle, be it a large pot or a border. Really drench them thoroughly; the roots will then go down deep meaning they’ll dry out less quickly and you’ll have to water them less often.

    More about how and when to water

  • Jobs for the weekend: Plant out brassicas for next spring

    Although these are the high days of summer, it’s time to plant out crops like purple sprouting broccoli for harvest next spring. Get it in the ground now and it can grow steadily through the rest of summer and autumn. Remember with all long-term brassicas: plant them firmly in the ground, stake them if necessary and give them plenty of space; about 2ft (60cm) between plants is ideal.

    More about growing purple sprouting broccoli (www.rhs.org.uk)

  • Jobs for the weekend: Summer prune trained pears and apples

    Mid to late summer is a good time to prune trained apples and pears, including espaliers, cordons and fans. Cut this year’s growth back to about 3 -5cm to create a short spur. This may seem drastic but it will restore the shape, allow light to ripen existing fruit and encourage the new spur to ripen and form fruit buds for next year’s crop.

    For advice about summer pruning (apps.rhs.org.uk)

  • Top topiary to visit

    Cumbria: Levens Hall (www.levenshall.co.uk)

    Devon: Knightshayes Court (www.nationaltrust.org.uk)

    Dorset: Mapperton House (www.mapperton.com)

    Gloucestershire: Bourton House (www.bourtonhouse.com)

    Gwynedd: Plas Brondanw (www.brondanw.org)

    Hampshire: Hinton Ampner (www.nationaltrust.org.uk)

    Kent: Hever Castle http://www.hevercastle.co.uk/

    Rutland: Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue (www.discover-rutland.co.uk)

    Shropshire: Wenlock Priory (www.english-heritage.org.uk)

    Warwickshire: Packwood House (www.nationaltrust.org.uk)


Monty Don
Carol Klein
Series Editor
Liz Rumbold
Babs Lewis


This week's expert advice

More expert gardening advice

Find out more about the gardens featured in the show and get some topical tips.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss