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In the garden this month

July 2018

July is suddenly upon us – how did that happen so quickly? Despite the ongoing heatwave, production in the vegetable garden in the Walled Garden is well underway. Once the produce has been picked, it goes for sale on the Barrow straight away, along with plants and cut flowers. We then dig over the bare ground, apply some organic chicken manure pellets and re-sow successional crops such as beetroot, radishes, spring onions and carrots. Other crops such as the brassicas and peas that were planted out in June are doing well, thanks to the very necessary netting to protect the crops from the endless attack from birds. The cut flowers are all bursting into bloom.

 

With the ongoing heatwave, the lettuce season is fast approaching as it doesn’t germinate above 20°C, plus it requires a lot of watering. Chicory will go in instead. We will be keeping an eye on hose-pipe restrictions. At Fulham Palace, rainwater is collected from our Vinery and bothy rooves and is stored in an underground tank. This then gets watered back out to our vegetables and plants.

 

This year the Curcubits – squashes and courgettes – are late to get going as they have been under constant attack from squirrels. For reasons that I can only believe to be an evening game, they attack the base of the plants and shear them off leaving just a stump, requiring them to be replanted. We have become wise to their antics and the Apprentices have pulled out all the stops to beat them, creating individual cages, using chicken wire, tree guards, cloches and even the cat’s travel baskets. The plants are now thriving but are becoming too confined in their protective enclosures. So we now need to remove these and hope the squirrels have moved onto some other play area or the stems are too bristly and tough and gnaw away at.

 

When the Bishop of London lived at Fulham Palace, the gardeners would grow produce in the whole of the approx. 2.5acres (1 hectare) Walled Garden to provide for the Bishop, his family and friends. He would have a dinner with guests almost every evening. Today the vegetable garden is looked after by the 3 Garden Apprentices with each Apprentice being assigned an area within the vegetable garden which is overseen by the head gardener. This ensures the continuity of growing the crops ensuring rows are being thinned, watered and successively sown at the right time and allows the apprentice to learn one particular crop in detail (as well as assisting with the others).

 

Lucy Hart

Head Gardener

In the garden this month
In the garden this month
In the garden this month
In the garden this month
Designed at Richard P Chapman Design Associates

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