In this episode we introduce Terry Porter, one of our master growers. Terry is able to grow the most amazing vegetables and has worked with our garden designers, Jon Wheatley and Mary Payne, for many years. You may have seen some of his vegetables at last year’s Hampton Court Flower Show – they were truly impressive!

This episode was shot in Hutton, near Bristol, towards the end of last year. While the all the onions began from seed, the leeks started out as both seed and set, and all were provided by Suttons . Sets arrive as small plugs ready to plant and this is a great way to grow at home, especially with children, as success rates are almost guaranteed.

All the vegetables are being grown in a heated greenhouse, but to make sure everything’s ready in time for the show, Terry is using a variety of growing techniques. The seedlings are receiving additional heat from the bench on which they sit and are getting 15 hours of light a day (I wish my February was like that!). We also have, as a backup, second batches of each crop getting 24 hours of light a day. The knack with a Chelsea Garden, or rather one of them, is to have everything ready just in time – and we’re very lucky to have Terry to help us do this.

For home growers, small heated benches are available which can fit onto a window sill – meaning that you are welcome to try and follow in Terry’s footsteps! Another interesting item we’ve come across are compact inflatable greenhouses – ideal if you don’t have much space (but do have a lot of puff!)

Terry is growing much of the veg for Chelsea and as you can see in the video blog has an area outside of the greenhouse ready for the Chelsea stock to be ‘stood out’ just before the show. We will be going back to visit Terry soon for an update.

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Posted in Chelsea 2011, Exhibitions By Ed White On 22nd February 2011

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