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.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Honeysuckle

 Honeysuckle, a useful plant to climb up a trellis, shed or wall.

The first honeysuckle I had in this garden was an unknown evergreen variety, given to me as a cutting by a friend. Leaving it in a jar of water for a while and it started to grow roots. Then grew in a pot until big enough to plant outside. A robust plant and easy to propagate I now have 3 plants in the garden. You need to keep cutting them back if you want to contain the plant to a particular space but to have green all winter and the fragrance all summer long is exquisite.


As I said it is a robust plant, a few years ago we had very strong winds and the honeysuckle, which was growing up a wall and over the arch of a gateway, came off the wall.

What to do? I chopped the whole structure down to about 60 cm from the ground. It grew quickly that summer and over the next few years I have kept cutting it down a bit each year gradually building up a strong base. It is now back to as it was, covering the wall and the arch over the gate. Hopefully it will not fall again.

My second honeysuckle was also an unknown variety, deciduous and found as a seedling growing in the garden. It must have grown from a seed, probably deposited by a bird, next door have the same one growing up the wall so that is probably the parent plant. It has taken several years to settle down but this year it has grown really well and looks wonderful.

Finally a more unusual variety this is called Jazz, originally came from a garden magazine offer.
This is deciduous and has the most unusual flower formation.


As the flowers die you get the seeds forming but as with the flower, it is encased in a cup like circular leaf.







Monday, June 6, 2022

Free Fertilizer

 We garden organically and try to find everything we need from the crops we grow.

Comfrey is a wonderful plant. The plant grows to  1m  high and the lovely flowers are usually covered in bees.

It is a perennial and dies down completely in the winter, giving space to clear any weeds that may have been hiding under the foliage.

The best thing about comfrey is that you can easily make a wonderful liquid fertilizer not just for tomatoes but anything else you grow. It is high in potassium and so is brilliant for any thing that fruits or flowers.

The traditional way to make this liquid is to chop up the leaves, stalks etc. into a bucket, push down to get as much as you can in the bucket then cover with water. Place a heavy weight on top to keep the leaves underwater and put it aside somewhere for several weeks until you have a nice dark liquid. One problem with this wet method, it stinks!

I no longer do this but still get litres of the fertilizer by using the dry method.



I made this system from an old pallet, old wide drain pipes, a plant trough, brackets and a plastic tap.

We have 5 tubes as we have a large garden but the same method could be used with a single pipe for smaller gardens.

The chopped up plant materials, stalks, leaves and flowers are pushed down the tubes and then left. After a week or so the tubes will look almost empty so keep topping them up with more comfrey plant. You can cut the plant to the ground several times during the season and if you have several plants there will always be some for the bees.

After about 6 weeks I am now collecting the liquid, 2x 2 litre bottles filled today. No smells!


Then dilute to a weak tea colour and feed the plants

Just continue to add more plant material throughout the growing season and you will get plenty of the fertilizer.

Honeysuckle

 Honeysuckle, a useful plant to climb up a trellis, shed or wall. The first honeysuckle I had in this garden was an unknown evergreen variet...