RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 8

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

This week in the garden I was once more taking stock of the damage caused by the sheep earlier in the summer. The mixed hedge that I had planted in March using bare root Beech and Holly plants hasn’t taken off due to three factors:

  • Sheep damage
  • The winter cold had most likely killed the plants in the nursery before they were ever planted
  • Maybe not enough water to the plants during the summer

I replaced the dead and weaker plants with fresh plants from the garden centre that have been grown in pots. The most important thing to remember with these plants is to give them plenty of water throughout the first growing season.

Paul Flynn was in to show us how to barbecue some very fresh produce using leaves and herbs and really what we conjured up in half an hour was fantastic. I was loaned a big gas Weber barbecue and I cooked up some lovely lamb chops and the combination of both mine and his was a meal fit for a king.

I am delighted to announce that we are now harvesting the rainwater from the roof of our shed. It was such a waste seeing it all being lost and it’s so easy to fit a water butt to your drainpipe.

I planted up a window box with some salad leaves this week. It really couldn't be simpler:

  • Get a window box about 2 feet long
  • Fill it with good quality soil or compost
  • Plant 4 or 5 different 'cut and come' varieties of lettuce/rocket/mustard – whichever plants you will use in salads
  • Water regularly
  • Stand back and harvest for the rest of the summer

A box like this can be used in the smallest of spaces, even an apartment balcony as it only needs a window sill or similar type space.

The Gardeners