Tysoe Walled Kitchen Garden

Welcome to the Tysoe Walled Kitchen Garden website! We are committed to organic gardening. Using the best practices from the Victorian days (i.e. lots of horse manure) and knowledge gleaned from the Ryton Organic Gardens we have set out to tame our Warwickshire clay. It’s all about sustainability, so as well as organic gardening, we’re always looking to better ways to work with our environment.

On this site you can find out about our history and the projects we are working on. You can come visit the garden and learn about organic gardening. Follow our blog to see what’s on our mind in the garden this month.

For the first 8 years all the work was carried out by just the two of us. Now we have help and are passing on our knowledge to students on the WRAGS (Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme).

We also find time to be involved with the WOT2Grow Community Orchard in Tysoe and have planted a 3 acre wood close to Tysoe, just over the border in Oxfordshire with a grant from the Woodland Trust.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June

What a difference a few days make! We had that really bad frost at the beginning of May when lots of plants had their new foliage burn’t off, then the weather got so, so hot.

Too hot to do anything in the garden now so time to write a bit.

The clay we have here has advantages that it does retain moisture and all the essential minerals and nutrients for plant growth so is especially good for vegetables. Unfortunately it has disadvantages and with this weather the soil is drying out. Despite years of adding loads of organic matter we still have this problem in very hot weather. Cracks are appear in the soil and some plants have been “lifted out” if the soil due to the shrinking, causing the plants to dry out and die if not noticed in time.

The cracks are getting wider, this photo was a week ago and they are even wider now. The soil is so hard you can not use a trowel but need a mattock to make a planting hole and the potatoes can not be earthed up with the soil as it has set solid so we have to use bags of compost, expensive potatoes!!

cracks in soil

One job we have done is to cut the fedge.

A fedge is a cross between a fence and a hedge. Made of living willow and planted to create a diamond shaped trellis design . The top is cut to form the hedge part and the new growth at the sides is either woven in to the structure or cut off. This gives an attractive feature in the garden to divide areas but still give a tantalising glimpse through to what is on the other side and allow the wind to filter through.

Fedge

Now we hope the forecast rain will actually arrive in Tysoe.

We have an underground water store which takes all the rainwater from the roof of house and sheds, it holds 6,500 litres and was full after all the winter rain. We also have 8 water butts each 200 litres, collecting rain water from the greenhouses and garage.

All these are empty with the exception of a little in some of the water butts which we are saving for the blueberries which meed rain not tap water.

Normally we water very little except newly planted crops and the green house plants, but the exceptionally hot and windy weather has dried things out so loads of watering needed every day.

Oh the joys of gardening but fresh home grown produce is worth it.

Moving On

 It only takes a bit of rain , well 22mm already this month, a few warm days and everything in the garden is getting greener and bigger. The...