Adam Frost hosted the third episode of the Gardeners’ World Winter Specials tonight as he showed viewers how to grow creepers to cover dull surfaces in the garden. He built a rose arch from scratch and started a new blackcurrant plant to cover a dull wall in his garden, although his top tip was to give your garden soil some “much-needed love” by adding mulch. The gardening expert revealed the best time to do this to avoid killing your outdoor plants.
Adam explained that mulching is essential to ensure all the “time and effort” put into your garden year-round isn’t wasted during the cold winter months.
Since moving into his new property, the Gardeners’ World presenter has been keen to “level up the soil” in his garden.
He said: “I’m in a really dry part of the county so I started mulching properly from September. Make sure some moisture shows up in the soil, and then trap that moisture. And I’m just pulling this through to probably next March, April.
“If you’re in a slightly wetter place, your window gets shorter. So you probably won’t mulch until well into next spring, because I think if anything is killing the plants, it’s this wet winter more than the cold.”
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The Gardeners’ World host explained that he incorporated about 50ml of well-rotted manure with a bit of composted bark into the soil.
He said: “It will keep the weeds down. But for me, too, the most important thing is that over time it rots and brings good things back to the soil.”
According to Adam, the mulch should focus on wooded plants like trees and shrubs. The TV gardener noted that care should be taken to hold back the compost, as you don’t want the mulch “around your neck” with your plants.
He said, “What that will do is it will start damaging the bark and slowly killing the plant.”
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As for herbaceous plants, Adam noted that you can mulch them “in and around them.” He explained that if you are in a drier part of the country, you should already be mulching your garden.
During the episode, the Gardeners’ World host also showed viewers how to “save space” by growing a blackcurrant plant on a fence.
He planted the fruit in a hidden part of the garden that was “a bit dark and dingy,” and branded it a “waste of space.”
Adam placed an established currant plant a good eight inches underground, near the fence.
After filling the back with soil, he found that he had hung several horizontal wires across the fence to support the plant’s growth.
The host of Gardeners’ World noted that the fruiting usually comes from last season’s growth, so it bears fruit very well on fairly young plants, but it’s different against the fence.
He explained that he needs to create the framework before he takes care of the fruit. The gardening expert explained that he would let the stems mature over the next few years in order to “promote the fruit”.
Adam added that “it’s an experiment” and “will take time” to spread over the fence. Before growing the blackcurrants, he tied the wire in a figure of eight so the stems wouldn’t rub against the wires.