Did you know that there are 30 different species of worm in the UK? Or that fungi can actually help create habitats for wildlife? This week we're exploring the roles played these crucial but often overlooked garden residents. Back indoors we meet a hidden hero of horticulture – ‘likely the most prolific botanical explorer of the early 20th century’. Staff from RHS Garden Wisley and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh join forces to tell his story.
Useful links: ►Find out more about earthworms ►Worm composting advice ►A hidden hero of horticulture: Zhao Chengzhang (coming soon) ►RHS Herbarium
Contributors: Andrew Salisbury, Jassy Drakulic, Leonie Paterson and Yvette Harvey
Learn how to grow winter veg staple (and superfood) kale with RHS expert Guy Barter, who recommends the tastiest and hardiest varieties and explains how to keep problems at bay.
There's also great advice on when and how to protect tender plants from frost by either mulching or wrapping, and chef and author Mark Diacono tells us how to beat the winter cold another way; by making delicious and warming sloe gin from the fruit of the blackthorn bush.
►How to grow kale ►How to lift or mulch tender plants ►How to wrap tender plants ► Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Contributors: ► Mark Diacono ►Guy Barter
Selected kales mentioned: Tuscan kale ('Cavolo Nero' or 'Nero di Toscana' ), 'Redbor'
Just a few short years took Kuda Chimbudzi from novice to superstar gardener, growing healthy fruit and veg for the Premier League footballers at Tottenham Hotspur FC. Our resident gardening guru Guy Barter heads to north London to check out his award-winning kitchen garden at the club's grounds.
Plus we meet Lucy Vincent of Food Behind Bars – a charity that's trying to improve the lives and diets of prisoners through growing food; and Greig Robertson from Edible Estates in Edinburgh, an organisation creating neighbourhood plots to bring fresh food to disadvantaged communities.
Useful links: ►Read more about the kitchen garden at Tottenham Hotspur FC ►The Garden magazine ►Food Behind Bars ►Edible Estates ►RHS Flourish Fund
From smuggled wealth hidden in the pockets of 17th-century refugees to imperial beheadings and long treks up freezing, desolate mountainsides... there's more to the humble tulip than you might think. And as the nights draw in, now is the perfect time to get planting these spring favourites.
Garden designer Humaira Ikram shares her favourite varieties and ways of using them, and we head to Cambridge University Botanic Garden to discover a unique collection of species tulips and talk about their origins. Plus historian Fiona Davison tells the tale of how tulip mania shaped the history of Europe and gripped the Ottoman Empire to deadly effect.
Useful links: ►How to grow tulips ►Buy tulip bulbs
Selected varieties mentioned: 'Florosa', 'Evergreen', 'Apricot Beauty', 'Angelique', 'Queen of Night', 'Abu Hassan', 'Black Hero'. Species tulips: Tulipa turkestanica, T. linifolia, T. cornuta (also known as T. acuminata and T. gesneriana), T. bakeri
Contributors: Humaira Ikram, Sally Petitt, Samuel Brockington, Fiona Davison
You might think of gardening as an intrinsically green activity, but our verdant hedges and lush lawns can cause some very dirty habits. In an eye-opening interview, low-carbon gardening expert Sally Nex gives the lowdown on how ditching petrol power tools is important for the health of both gardeners and our planet.
Plus we head to COP26 host city Glasgow to discover a pioneering urban seed library that helps create resilience in local food systems. And in Cornwall we meet artist Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg who's created an inter-species installation using an algorithm to create gardens designed from the perspective of pollinating insects, rather than humans.
Useful links: ►How to grow a low-carbon garden ►Why should I garden with the environment in mind? ►Find out more about the RHS Sustainability Strategy ►Glasgow Seed Library ►Pollinator Pathmaker by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Contributors: ►Sally Nex ►Rowan Lear ►Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
This week we meet Harriet Thompson, who's spearheading an eco-friendly revolution in houseplant growing. RHS scientist Jassy Drakulic explains the latest thinking on an extremely common garden problem, honey fungus. Plus Will Rogers of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia shares his unique approach to conserving the fabulous native flora of the Southeastern USA.
Useful links: ►Gardening without peat ►Houseplants ►RHS advice on honey fungus ►List of honey fungus resistant plants
Contributors: ►Harriet Thompson ►Gareth Richards ►Jassy Drakulic ►Will Rogers ►Guy Barter