You can learn a lot from garden programs but I doubt if many of the gardening presenters would refer to themselves as experts .
I find TV programs are very helpful to actually demonstrate techniques for taking cuttings pruning etc.
If you listen to GQT on Radio 4 there are often several different opinions from the panel on how best to grow a particular plant.
Plants and the conditions they need depend heavily on climate, location, soil type etc. Which just shows gardening is far from being an exact science.
Interesting thread I agree with a lot that has been said. I think all real gardeners regard it as a lifetime of learning & that includes the ones on the telly. We all have our own experiences & prejudices, I learned a lot from my father but he wasn't always right & neither am I. I still learn new things all the time & so do most of us that's why we love it so. To add to that plants often don't play by our rules we do what we think is right mostly it woks often it fails -we learn as we go.
I have had a very small experience of being filmed for TV. I used to work in labs & we were filmed on a couple of occasions for "new" tests that were in the news. It was all we could do to get the film crew to actually film the tests they were supposed to be talking about, & not some other machine in the corner that though fascinating to them was nothing to do with the topic at hand. A full thorough explanation of all the in's & outs of a particular topic and real time demonstration of techniques would be too time consuming & considered "boring" to the general viewer. Within the limitations of the genre I think they mostly do a good job.
Monty Don, holier-than-thou, come on. The man offers genuine guidance and I hope he continues to do so for many years to come.
Can't see anywhere or anyone saying that Monty don't is holier than thou.
I agree with what most people have said ,
watch these programmes and then adapt what has been said to your own
wants and needs, not follow blindly what you have been told just because it
comes from your television screen.
great thread and well debated by most.
the first media expert that i can remember was a wireless pundit called mr middleton way back in the 1940s, then along came the renown gardener from Petworth in Sussex ,Fred Streeter who stayed on our airwaves for some thirty years or more,
then came what is, to my mind the best then and still the best of all media gardening programmes G.Q.T the first t v gardener to make a great gardening impact on me and many others was Percy Thrower who stayed with us for a good many years.
Mr Smith kept us enthralled for few years with his work on his allotment.
others came and went staying for a while and then, disappering from our screens,then came my favourite t.v gardener Geof Hamilton who seemed to be able to put over what he wanted you to know in such a way that it all seemed to sink in without any effort.
to me he was the last of the greats.
As a part time gardener (still working 5 days a week so can only get into the garden at weekends) I wish they would expand their jobs for the weekend.
I have also started a spreadsheet based month by month jobs list as I am absolutely useless in remembering when to sow seeds, when to plant out and then when to harvest so I always find myself a couple of weeks behind most others (my toms are only just beginning to ripen where my outlaws have been supplying us with excess toms for weeks). I suppose the benefit is I will get timings based on my location but with the knowledge local weather changes from year to year so timings will also change.
I also need a spreadsheet for feeding plants buying nematodes etc. I have a rather butterfly mind.
I did start one for my new plants with information about growing needs shade etc.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
When the sun is shinining I get out into the garden.
I made a lot of spreadsheets when I started growing veg in earnest - about 7 years ago. Now I have a system (sort of) for what goes where so I can keep it all moving forward more consistently (which isn't to say I don't still find things down the back that have run to seed before they ever got out of their first module )
The TV shows don't really show the sequence - you just get glimpses. You see Monty Don sowing his broad beans in root trainers and next thing you know he's eating the beans. Yet we see that wretched banana through every step of it's life, year in year out. I know, I know, I've nothing against the banana. I'm sure it's a marvellous plant. Beechgrove is better for this, but even they jump around.
Rotation is a classic. 'They' tell you the four beds and the order they come in, well fine. But actually that misses out months and months of what goes there now? Brassicas for instance - plant out most of them around June and they stay in the ground until Feb at least. So what about spring greens, huh? Planted out in Autumn and harvest April/May. Do they go in the brassica bed the spring before the other brassicas so you've harvested them before the sprouts go in? Or do they go in after the summer harvest calabrese comes out in the autumn to 'stand' alongside the winter kale and the purple sprouting? Either way you've got two brassica crops one on top of the other which is a criminal offence. So do you have to have a whole area of brassica bed that has no brassicas in it until right at the end of the year, or from May until you sow parnsips the following February? You won't find this answer in any book or on TV (there is no TV gardening in the winter, of course). You have to figure it out for yourself.
My brain hurts
I am still waiting for Monty to tell us what to do with San Marzano tomatoes. All the books, online forums etc. don't seem able to agree wether they are bush or cordon. Last year I got in a terrible muddle and I know I am not the only one who has the problem. This year I have treated as cordon and has been more successful but its strange that Monty should tell you that they're the best for flavour and then never mention again!