Monty Don outlines 'best time' to water plants during hot weather
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Popular horticulturist and star of BBC’s Gardeners’ World, Monty Don has been journaling tips for growing all kinds of plants on his website. A July segment advised how best to harvest garlic, but he issued a warning over the process. Elaborating on how to keep garlic once it’s been lifted from the ground, he offered some surprising instructions.
The gardening expert’s series is popular with both seasoned and amateur gardeners hoping to get some expert advice on ways to expand their gardening skills.
Talking readers through the steps of how to produce the best garlic, he wrote: “If the leaves are yellowing and seed heads are forming, this is a good indication that garlic and shallots (and onions too if they are ready, although they may need a few more weeks yet) are usually ready to harvest.”
He added: “Always use a fork to carefully lift them rather than yanking them out of the soil by hand as you want to try and avoid damaging the roots and especially the root-plate – where they attach to the bulb.”
The 65-year-old is always on hand to provide the latest dos and don’ts from the world of plants.
But he advised caution regarding what to do with the garlic once they have been lifted.
“Clean any surplus soil but do not remove any foliage or roots before putting them to dry thoroughly,” he continued.
The piece explained: “This can be done by leaving them on the soil if it is dry and warm, on a homemade rack made from chicken wire stretched over posts or in a greenhouse.
“Once they are absolutely dry – usually after a few weeks – they can be topped and tailed for storage.”
Monty is the UK’s leading garden writer and broadcaster, and those looking to take up the hobby or expand their knowledge trust his direction.
The monthly updates on his blog provide fans with tips on what they should be doing in the garden throughout the year.
Describing all that July offers, he wrote: “Mid summer, middle of the year, mid season. But in fact July is the beginning of a new year for me with my birthday falling at the end of the first week.
“It is time both for celebration of the beauty of an English garden at its best and also to take stock.
“In gardening terms it is a period of transition. The garden changes and there is a real shift in the borders.
“The easy lightness of May and June is replaced by a weightier heft from more voluptuous plants.”
He concluded: “Summer – whatever the weather – is slipping gently through our hands and must be relished at every opportunity.”
The latest episode of Gardeners’ World saw the seasoned gardener demonstrate what he had been up to at his famous garden of Longmeadow in Hertfordshire.
Taking to Twitter, he told his 236,000 followers: “Gardeners World tonight is early at 7pm (brought forward to accommodate the first night of the Proms) and was shot last week at the height of the heatwave.
“There is planting round the new summer house, ferns and sarracenias, tomatoes, lilies, veg and hats.”
The latest show didn’t disappoint, with one viewer commenting: “Fantastic show today! So many ideas and so much inspiration. Love the new planting. Especially appreciate the quality of filming with your real crew…the light & the detail they capture makes it all sing.”
Another wrote: “I was worried that I was late planting out my verbena bonariensis. Reassured to see you planting some yesterday eve. Bees are out enjoying the teasles this morning.”
“Wonderful, keeping us on our toes re times. Any tomato advice will be welcome for those of who have healthy tall plants with flowers that keep shrivelling up and no fruit, in the greenhouse. Using a fine paintbrush to assist pollination in case it helps lol,” a third commented.
Gardeners’ World airs at 8pm on Fridays on BBC Two.
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