Know your Onions

This week in the garden we will prepare the roots bed in the lower garden, (the bed next to the cob oven) and plant three different varieties of onion sets, the lovely red onion ‘Electric’, a white variety called ‘Snowball’ and a yellow variety called ‘Radar’. Onion sets are small onions grown from seed the previous year.  Once planted, they mature into full-grown onions during their second year. The advantage with these onion set bulbs is they already have a head start on their growth. Not only can they be harvested sooner, they can also lead to harvesting larger bulbs. When planting onions sets we plant them with the tips of the onions just showing above soil level. We put chicken wire on the ground over our planted onions sets because if we do not they are vulnerable to curious birds having a peck and pulling them out of the ground before they have had a chance to get rooted!

We will also be planting garlic cloves of the following varieties of autumn garlic ‘Extra early wight’, ‘Early purple wight’, ‘Caulk wight’ and ‘elephant garlic’. Unlike onions we plant these cloves 2cm below the surface of the soil.

The long raspberry bed (beside the wild flower meadow) has been cut back for the winter. These are a variety of summer raspberries and at this time of year we completely cut back all the canes that have fruited. This makes it easy to weed the bed and then we will mulch the bed with a 10cm layer of well rotted manure. Raspberries are known as heavy feeders and they respond well to a good mulch which enables them to grow vigorously in the coming year.

We have a little more garden furniture winter preservation to do, giving the bench tops a last few coats of oil and also a table top of two.

It really feels like autumn is on its way and with it the leaves are beginning to fall and clog up the gutters along the kitchen and greenhouse roofs. We will be doing some gutter leaf clearing as well as raking leaves off paths around the garden to prevent the paths getting slippery.

It’s fantastic how many people wish to volunteer with us!  But it does mean that the bookable slots get full very quickly. So please, if you have booked a slot and then are unable to make it, be sure to remove your name as soon as you know you can’t make it, so that another volunteer can take your slot. Thanks!

Sue Stuart Smith, author of a fantastic book ‘The Well-Gardened Mind’ – Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World  is writing a new short piece about Climate Change Anxiety and Gardening.  She is interested in having a conversation by phone with any BPCG volunteer who would like to talk with her on this subject. If you are interested in this, please reply to director@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk and I will put you in touch with Sue.

In other news, Read the exciting proposed plans for Brockwell Hall’s restoration here  and here. These plans are now in with Lambeth planning and will soon be submitted to the Heritage Lottery.  Brockwell Park Community Partners invite you to comment on the plans by visiting the above links. The consultation will run until Thursday 5 November 2020. Comments can be left on the Lambeth website or on Lambeth’s Planning Portal. Or you may email BPCP at brockwellparkcommunitypartners@gmail.com

Loughborough Farm, a community growing project based in Loughborough Junction are raising money to support local people to keep healthy and well in this first Covid-19 winter and to reduce loneliness and isolation. Loughborough Farm wants to support people’s physical and mental health by running free health and wellbeing workshops and continuing their community growing sessions producing healthy vegetables. Please find out more on their crowdfunding page and support their campaign by sharing and making a donation if you can.   If you are interested in offering a workshop that supports healthy eating and nutrition, physical or mental health and/or have a creative offering please contact loughboroughfarm@gmail.com

South London Botanical Institute are running a series of great interesting talks through Black History Month. For more details go here.  This week, Hilda Castillo Thurs October 15th 7pm to 8pm. Hilda is a retired NHS Nurse and Founder member of Lambeth GP Food Co-op and.Then on Fri October 16th 7pm to 8pm, it’s Alex Monro from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew who will talk about some of the food plants found in our local Brixton market – their origins, spread and geopolitical aspects .

Learning Unlimited are a newly formed local group that goes for walks in areas near here with migrants and their families. The walks are aimed at helping the participants to develop their language skills and get to know the area.  They will be doing a themed Autumn walk in Brockwell Park during half term. Read and share the attached leaflet with anyone you know who you think might be interested in knowing more or could perhaps signpost a family our way.

Friends of the Earth will be leading a street clean-up in Brixton on 24th October. They’ll be focussing on the Railton Road Low-Traffic Neighbourhood so it’s a great way to show support for the LTN initiative too. All litter-picking equipment will be provided on the day. Message Adeline Aletti on Slack to book your spot!

 

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