‘Sow it now’: Monty Don shares his ‘rule’ for growing basil – gardening jobs to do now

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don on sweet peas

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Gardening expert Monty Don shared which jobs gardeners can do this weekend on the latest episode of Gardeners’ World. The lead host of the BBC series advised gardeners to sow basil, keep on top of weeds and tie-in clematis this weekend. The 66-year-old shared his “rule” for growing basil.

Sow basil

Basil can be difficult to grow, partly because of its watering needs.

Gardeners have to make sure there is enough space between seeds when sowing them.

Malnourished and poorly draining soil can also be a problem.

Monty explained: “Basil is a herb that relishes as much heat and goodness as you can give it.

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“As a rule, if tomatoes are happy, then so is basil.

“Sow it now and grow the seedlings on and it should be ready to plant out into a greenhouse or a warm spot in the garden around about the middle of June.”

Keep on top of weeds

Monty said now the weather is warming up, the soil is too which means weeds can become “rampant”.

Gardeners need to “keep on top of them” to ensure they don’t grow out of control.

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He explained: “If you’re growing anything in rows or a grid, be it vegetables or flowers, a hoe is the best solution.

“Try and do it on a dry day when the weeds aren’t too big and before they set seed.”

Gently slice through just under the soil.

Leave them to dry and you can gather them up and safely add them to the compost heap.

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Tie in clematis

Clematis plants are popular climbing plants which have woody vines.

They are popular plants that often grow up fences, trellises and garden arches.

Monty said now is the time to support and tie them in.

He said: “Clematis are growing very fast now but particularly the late flowering, group three kinds and they do need support.

“So tie them up regularly over the next few weeks.

“Then, roundabout the beginning of June, they develop sufficient tendrils to become self-supporting.”

Gardeners’ World is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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