We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of all our friends and supporters we have managed to more than reach our £10k target by raising £10,180 for stage one of Raise the Barn! Thank you! It’s fantastic news and means we can start work on renovating the upper greenhouse in January. There will be plenty of practical opportunities to get involved. We will keep you posted of these in our weekly email.
This week in the garden, we will be planting our autumn onion sets in the ‘roots’ beds. We will plant three varieties, a red onion called Electric, and two yellow onions ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Senshyu Yellow’.
Autumn onion sets are planted in October or at the latest November. These sets are immature baby onions. They don’t grow much over winter, but get a head start in spring. We can start harvesting by June, a month or two earlier than spring-sown sets.
We will be planting our onion sets 5-10cm apart in rows 25-30cm apart. To plant them all we need to do is gently push the small onions into soft, well-worked soil so that the tip is just showing, and firm the soil around them. We will be placing chicken wire over the bed to protect the onions from pigeons and also to deter squirrels from digging them out.
The next stage of our new perennial meadow will be carried out this week. We have painstakingly dug over the meadow three times to remove the roots of perennial weeds and we have spread a 5cm deep mulch across the whole area. We are now going to sow our first seed mix Purple Haze in the upper two thirds of the meadow. With Bellflowers, Campanula, Michaelmas Daisies, Asters, Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum and Prunella, this mix is predominantly white, with spikes and billows of mauve and blue and flashes of pink and purple for contrast. In the Spring, we will sow the bottom third with an annual, biennial and perennial seed mix called Magic Carpet.
We will be mixing our seed with sharp sand which should help us to evenly distribute the seed as we broadcast sow. It is quite a skill to get an even spread. Finally we will protect the meadow by covering it with a net to deter foxes and squirrels from venturing onto it before the seed has germinated.
Other garden jobs this week include keeping our paths free of fallen leaves, so leaf raking is an important garden job at this time of the year. We have a designated compost bay especially for composting fallen leaves.
On Saturday 23rd November and 30th November, Andy Petch is running his Tai Chi workshop at the Greenhouses 2pm to 3pm. To find out more and to book, go here
On Sunday 24th November 10am to 1pm, Cat is running her monthly Productive Garden workshop when you will work on and learn about all the edibles in our garden and what you need to do this month in the garden. This is a free workshop and there is no need to book.
On Thursday 5th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December between 11am and 3pm we are running three wreath making workshops. For more information and to book your £15 (£10) ticket go here We also need volunteers to help facilitate at the workshops on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December, so if you can help, please reply to this email.
Lambeth Horticultural Society is running an evening talk by Everett Leeds on Wednesday 27th November on ‘Clematis Through the Seasons’ in the Old Library, Knights Hill, West Norwood 7.30pm for 8pm start. Free admission with refreshments available.
Other volunteering opportunities
There’s a nice opportunity to extend your volunteering and make London a greener and healthier city by becoming a ranger with the National Park City Campaign. To read more about this, go here
Vauxhall City Farm are running their New Shoots Programme of training for 16 to 25 year olds starting 28th January. For more information go here