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In the garden this month

September 2017

September is upon us and there is change in the air.  This is the month when we see autumnal colours coming in, such as a bit of yellowing of the leaves on the vines against the bold reds and oranges of the dahlias. Now is the time when the work undertaken staking plants really begins to pay off.  If plants are still standing up in the knot garden, we have done well.

In September, we take a breath and start to reflect over the summer months.  It has been a productive season at Fulham Palace this year.  The weather has treated us fairly well.  The soil here is river terrace gravel, and we welcomed the extra rain we received later on in the season.

We continually learn from our experiences, and next year we will only grow autumn sown broad beans as they didn’t get so aphid infested as the spring sown ones.  We will only do spring planted onion sets next year as all our autumn planted onions bolted too soon.  Runner and climbing beans have done very well, and we had a marvellous crop of carrots, peas and beetroot.  The brassicas are looking beautifully healthy, and we have some wonderful pumpkins and squash for our autumn display.   Some potatoes have been better than others, but we are generally getting great yields.  The autumn leeks are looking very good with not a hint of rust in sight.  We will take note of the varieties we like and sowing times and continue to perfect our yield.

All the crops have been grown and tended to by our three Garden Apprentices.  They each have a third of the vegetable garden to look after which might either be legumes and other crops, brassicas and the children’s ‘Little Green Fingers’ bed or roots.  The apprentices are then responsible for direct sowing successions, thinning, watering, weeding and harvesting.  Amongst the beetroots, carrots, turnips, radishes, beans, cabbages, lettuces, kale (and not to mention over 15 varieties of potatoes), there are flowers for cutting, annuals and perennials and sunflowers to keep the beds looking colourful.  The apprentices help each other and get to work on all the beds so they get an understanding of all the crops.  Garden Volunteers help harvest the crops for selling on our barrow situated in the Walled Garden.  They also help keep the garden edged and weed free.

This month we will be entering into the Fulham Horticultural Society’s (FHS) Autumn Show. We have records from the 1860s and 1870s of former Fulham Palace Head Gardeners exhibiting Fulham Palace produce, so it is certainly not a new thing.   It is a lot of fun and pretty exciting to find out if you win anything.

Tasks coming up for this month include cutting down the long grass areas by the orchard and moat and general lawn maintenance a very worthy end of season job.

Lucy Hart
Head Gardener

 

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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