Grow Your Own at Home with Alan Titchmarsh Episode 66

[Music] with pots and planters all over the country bursting with produce [Music] now's the time to sprinkle some magic amongst the veggies it looks so beautiful so join mrs t and me well deliasen good day's work and the love your garden team oh he looks jazzy as our veg patches undergo a dramatic final transformation that cabbage is bigger than you mate into flour filled i'll show you rather lovely sweet scented oh it smells so delicious gardens i'm so pleased with this it's the garden that i always wanted it's now been eight weeks since alice and i began working on our veg patches [Music] it's wonderful just what's happened in just a few weeks alison's still behind the camera you're doing awfully well thank you and everything is just burgeoning i've got carrots coming now look at this now they'll only be little but baby carrots are wonderful in the pan i like vegetables small because they're tender and fresh that way you can still grow late season carrots from seed in july and they'll be ready to harvest in september oh my goodness buttered carrots with basil aren't they good arson delicious delicious there's so much more to come as well the runner beans are legging it up the wigwam and now you can see why they're called scarlet runners because the scarlet flowers are embedded just about to open they'll open and then you'll get a cluster of beans harvest them while they're young don't wait till they're big and long and stringy because by keeping picking them young you'll encourage the runner beans to produce more beans my new stepover apple trees are going great guns too there's plenty of fruit on these trees which is wonderful in a way but there can be too many now there is a natural phenomenon called june drop it's happened here on this cluster this little fruit has not developed properly and it's dropped off it's the tree's natural way of thinning its crop if a tree has too much fruit on it it can affect the quality of the crop but you can give it a helping hand what you need to do in summer it's very simple pruning these shoots that grow pinch out the shoot tip after three or four leaves that way you encourage the formation of next year's flower buds it's not too late to add fruit to the veg patch this summer but it'll need to be grown in a container one of my favorites is perfect for small spaces [Music] this is a dwarf apricot if you've got a doorstep and that's all you can plant it in a tub and enjoy its fruits crocs in the bottom to cover the drainage holes and then some ordinary peat-free multi-purpose compost inside apricots love a sunny spot to enjoy fruit this summer look for a tree where young fruits are already starting to form i've really soaked the tree in its pot that's very important when you're planting anything tap off the pot then i tease out the roots plant it at the right level fill in and remove any unwanted branches apricots it's always summer pruning never in winter how quickly will this little apricot fruit look at that francis is also enjoying the first harvest from her garden i am near the end of the garden makeover and i'm really really pleased with how it's going my chili farm is beginning to produce some chilies i've got some strawberries ripening figs look like they're ripe which is very exciting so lots happening some of the vegetables i planted last week are looking a little bit questionable so we'll see how they do but it's absolutely full of lush edibles and i'm really pleased with it but there are clever ways of getting even more into a tiny space [Music] when you're looking for somewhere to grow your edibles i always say look up there's this bit of wall space which is perfect for hanging a hanging basket think of hanging baskets and you'll picture clusters of brightly coloured flowers but francis is hoping to achieve the same effect with vegetables i'm a firm believer that veg can be as beautiful as flowers the key thing to remember is the fuller it is the more you need to water it and the more you need to feed it now the first plant for me which is a must when you're talking about color is beet treats they're also incredibly good for you and they're delicious not only is beetroot great for salads its leaves are rich in calcium and iron they need a bit of space for the actual beets to develop and the leaves themselves have lovely red veining so they're really beautiful and then something i absolutely love is charred in this kind of space it'll be more of a cut and come again type crop and then just to really fill the gaps in between these i'm going to add loads of different kinds of kale and for my finishing flourish it's always a great idea with a hanging basket to give it some spillage so i'm using my favorite nasturtiums again just around the edges they'll hang over and they'll flower and they'll look absolutely beautiful and it'll grow so quickly and it'll taste amazing too which is the most important thing [Music] francis is also squeezing in one last crop of climbing veg this is something i've wanted to try for ages and it's called forest gardening now the theory is that you mimic what would happen in the wild so you'd get a woodland and you'd have a kind of ground cover you'd have a shrub layer and then you'd have things climbing up the trees so what i'm doing is just planting this is a french climbing bean at the base of this tree french beans can be planted until july the climbing kind can grow up to two and a half meters high so if you don't have a tree then a wigwam will work as a support and this will not harm the fig tree at all it's an annual vegetable so the roots won't invade the roots of the fig and actually in all beans members of the pea family the roots have these nodules that actually enrich the soil with nitrogen so this will help the fig tree to grow in the long run my final edible this one's not for me this is for the dog and this is normally the gardener's enemy this is cooch grass but in a pot here it should stay fairly contained now whether it's for digestive aids or just because they like the taste dogs and cats do usually need a little bit of grass to chew so if you have the room it's always worth including some just eight weeks ago francis garden was an uninspiring five meter long narrow backyard its only feature was a bear brick wall now it's transformed now i have a chili farm i have an orchard i have a whole veg garden and it looks absolutely beautiful it's the garden that i always wanted now i have a sanctuary and a space that keeps me very very busy and hopefully well fed all the way through the summer [Music] with every inch of my veg patches fall to bursting i'm planning my own mini makeover using gorgeous plants that'll give my crops a helping hand what i'm doing here is making a new border to frame the veg patch these are really sturdy wooden troughs equipped with holes in the bottom of the drainage very important first i'm adding structure and scent in the form of topiarized bay trees now bay trees are great in a kitchen garden for obvious reasons they're good in the kitchen i mean these leaves are wonderful for winter soups and stews they're also wonderful for winter in the garden because being evergreen they stay this shape and form topiary bay trees have a shallow root system so they'll be happy to grow in these 30 centimeter wide containers adding one in each of the outer troughs and two in the middle draws the eye inwards and you can trim it whenever you want to but clip it the last time in about september and then it will stay crisp of outline right the way through the winter to contrast with the evergreens i'm adding splashes of colour in the form of frothy pastel-hued perennials if you have strawberries raspberries peas and beans which aren't cropping terribly well chances are the flowers aren't being pollinated planting flowers alongside your veg patch will draw in bees hoverflies other pollinating insects like bees to a honeypot this is a plant i've always been very fond of bees love it scabius it says it's called butterfly blue and it tends to flower over a much longer period of time this is a salvia called velocity blue and it looks a bit like a sky rocket doesn't it blues pinks a little bit of pale yellow i like to think that this rather plain veg pouch that we had has been hugely improved by my little narrow border of bee friendly flowers job done and i think that's really rather lovely [Music] next katie completes the transformation of her indoor and outdoor veg garden with a sweet smelling seating area just delicious can't get enough of it and david adds a final touch to his by tackling monster veg i don't think i've ever dug so deep for a vegetable before and it looks like a bumper harvest is in store for some of you as well peppers i'm growing chili peppers cucumbers and i hope they taste really nice we go and see what we can harvest in warwickshire there's one here who's having that one david's traditional veg patch is bursting with delicious treats wow [Music] but he still found room for a pet project he's always wanted to try today's a great day because we're going to start to grow some proper giant veg for the competitive veg grower growing your own is all about the wow factor nurturing traditional veg until it grows to jaw-dropping proportions they enter these monsters into competitions around britain all for the prestige of having britain's biggest veg kevin kevin you're there yeah hi david you okay yeah very good thanks mate last year kevin forte set a world record with this 53 pound beetroot and has agreed to share his monster veg growing secrets initially you need to identify a good seed source these seeds may look the same as you get from a normal seed packet but these seeds here are red to produce record-breaking fruits and vegetables and then what tips have you got for growing if you give a vegetable more space the plant has more air so bigger roots allows you to get bigger healthier harvests you want to encourage leafy leaves chicken manure is very high in nitrogen so more space more food more water i appreciate it mate yeah thanks david cheers in his quest to compete with the experts david's trying out two different varieties but first he adds a sprinkling of kevin's magic formula chicken manure you'll be relieved to know that it is not horrible stinky manure and you just simply sprinkle it over the surface of the soil like that a true crowd pleaser in the monster veg world is the cabbage cabbage plants can be planted now for harvesting in september but david's found a variety that can grow up to seven times bigger than an ordinary cabbage this is called robinson's giant i can get four in if i plant them 30 centimetres apart i've got to keep an eye out for the lovely cabbage white butterflies because they lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves then the caterpillars come out and scoff them you need to pull them off and get rid of them pretty quickly leaks are another favorite amongst competitive veg growers as well as length and girth prize winning leaks are known for the whiteness of their stems this particular variety is called mammoth glance and mammoth blanche will grow three times as big as an ordinary leak and there's a trick for whitening them as they grow the experts the kevins of the growing world they use a little bit of piping so it grows up and taller of course as they get it bigger and they get it bigger but for the time being certainly for the first three weeks i'm gonna leave them as they are to get settled in the bed here [Music] for his final bed david's had a delivery that'll take pride of place in his veg patch kevin has been growing as cabbage since january he's supposed to be for a special show but under the current circumstances it's been cancelled so he's gifted it to me it's already a meter wide i don't think i've ever dug so deep for a vegetable before but over the next few months it could grow a third bigger i can't wait to see what the kids think of it with the final piece of the puzzle in place david's transformation of his traditional veg patch is complete what began as a few planters around the greenhouse is now filled with delicious treats that'll keep his family fed throughout the year [Music] with abundant raised beds fruit trees and bushes containers filled with barbecue friendly treats a mini allotment stuffed with autumn and winter veg and cold frames packed with tender sweet potatoes and aubergines that cabbage is bigger than you mate huge wow be gentle with it since we started creating all these extra beds the interest of the kids have been phenomenal we come down every morning to water to see how things have grown it's that magic and it's doing it as a family that makes the difference we need to give it a name what should we call it i was going to call it alan [Music] cheeky while david's plot has expanded week by week katie has been finding ways to grow fruit and veg in the smallest and trickiest of spaces and she's not done yet i still do have one area that i want to make a bit of a tasty destination she's going to transform her small patio into an elegant and delicious tasting seating area this time i'm going off the ground with using these containers because i want everything to be surrounding me at applicable and sniffable height i'm going to be growing lots of salad crops that i use really regularly in a lower level container she's adding spring onions it has been lovely to be able to just go out with the scissors and snip your own and mixed salad leaves this wonderful stuff is american land cress now it tastes like watercress but it doesn't need running water to grow you can grow it in part shade you can harvest it and it will come back and it'll even grow through the winter months at a sniffable height kate is filling a taller container with one of her favorite herbs zesty lemon thyme thyme loves free draining compost so i'm going to add some grit i'd say maybe 20 grit to 80 compost in this little pot i've got a little compact marjoram and tarragon which i love and finally a little known member of the mint family hyssop now it gets to about 60 centimeters tall it kind of has a lovely floral taste to it as well and apparently you can put a teaspoon of it into yorkshire puddings katie's adding color and scent at eye level too i absolutely love roses and this one is no exception it's called golden celebration and isn't it just look at it oh it smells so delicious it's like sherbet lemons with a cream tea it's just absolutely amazing fragrant rose will keep flowering right across the summer if it's deadheaded regularly roses are hungry plants and i usually scrape off a good couple of inches off the top of the container of soil and then i replace that with a mulch or a new compost i'm gonna under plant it with lavender another of my favorites and it will hopefully surround me with lovely scent when i'm sat down [Music] now i'm trying my best to arrange these so they really kind of sweep around the seating area i want a height at the back and then lots of things at the front kind of a reachable height i'm really pleased thanks to ingenious ideas and clever design katie now has six individual miniature fruit and veg gardens all of which are bursting with produce i did my indoor planters which i have to say have been amazing we have used them every day to make salad dressings and flavor drinks and stuff i've loved having them there i love my green wall that's really matured hydroponics have been nerdy and quite exciting i've liked watching how they've come on my steel planters i think have got to be my favorite bit of the garden they just look so sturdy and i'm really really pleased with those i think i am a total convert to growing fruit and veg [Music] oh that's so yummy it's been a strange old summer for all of us particularly for alison and me my wife has become a camera person don't be afraid arson i'm coming over there just have a look move back here we are on our own but growing our own food and there really is no thrill like it from this fork to the fork in the kitchen even if you only have a window box or a tub growing something and then eating it yourself not only feeds the body it feeds the soul as well i hope you've enjoyed growing your own till the next time bye-bye six weeks of filming in our garden and i'm trying to get my wife to do a walking show because i'm gonna go backwards and it's proving rather difficult i'm up there [Music] still to come tonight and the murder makes the national press but where was jack that night broadchurch continues next [Music] [Music] you

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