Fulham Horticultural Society

Founded 1924     





FHS Writes





The FHS is in it's 94th year and we had a very successful Autumn show so a big  thank you
to all of you who helped out, exhibited, or came along on the day. 

There is a great article written by the council with some wonderful photos on this link  

If anyone would like to help in the future running of the society, or put forward suggestions for classes/ideas for the next year's show please do come along to our meeting and prize giving at 12.00, on the 17th November at St. Etheldreda’s  church hall.

October (Mid Autumn) to do list

 1. Rake up fallen leaves regularly as if left lying around they can encourage slugs and snails.  Create a container for autumn leaves in which they can be left to decompose for a year or two, resulting in wonderful organic matter.


2. Established lawns should be mown less frequently now as growth slows down.  You should also raise the height of the cutting blades, as grass which is cut too short over the winter will not stand up to poorer weather conditions, and will be more likely to become infested with moss and weeds.


3. Cut down top growth of Dahlias.  Lift the tubers and shake or rinse off soil.  Stand them upside-down in wooden trays in a cool, dry place so that they dry thoroughly.  Store them for winter boxes of dry, peat-free compost.  Make sure the stem is above the surface and space out in spring.


4. Use the well-rotted compost from your bin for mulching and digging in to improve the soil.  Or you could improve fertility, promote good soil structure, reduce weed growth and support wildlife by sowing a crop of rye, vetches or rye grass to be dug in next February.  Alternatively cover with a black plastic sheet.


5. Pick the last of the runner beans and if not too big, freeze them. Compost overgrown pods.  If you want to collect your own seed, leave some pods on the old plants until they turn brown.  Otherwise, cut the plants from their supports and compost them, but leave the roots in the ground.  Runner beans, like broad beans and peas, return valuable nitrogen to the soil.  In the crop rotation system, beans can be followed by leafy crops such as brassicas which have a high demand for nitrogen.


6. Finish lifting potatoes, leaving on the surface of the soil for a couple of hours to dry out.  As they must be dry before putting them into storage.


7. Prune all Blackberry canes that have carried a crop of fruit back to ground level and tie new shoots produced this year in place.


8. Autumn planting onions are a low maintenance crop. Plant them, weed them and then harvest them in June. Autumn planting onions are normally ready a month to six weeks earlier than the normal types. They don't store well, four weeks at most. Rotting over winter is the key problem with this crop. With this in mind waterlogged and / or heavy soils should be avoided.


Every 10cm / 4in make a small hole in the soil with your finger and place an onion set into it. Plant rows about 30cm / 1ft apart, just enough to allow for hoeing weeds.

It's important to plant them the correct way up with the root end onto the soil and tassel end uppermost.  By making a little hole for each onion set rather than just forcing them into the ground you will avoid damaging the roots.  Now gather some soil around the planted onion set so that just the top tassel appears above the soil surface.  Gently firm the soil down. Scatter some long-lasting fertiliser (bonemeal or blood fish and bone) around the surrounding soil and work it into the soil surface with a trowel.

For the first few weeks birds may well be a problem for onion sets. To avoid this spread some horticultural fleece over the soil surface and secure it down with soil or stones. The fleece can be removed after a month.

9. Plant bulbs for spring colour daffodils, narcissi and crocus.


10. If you have mature ivy in your garden, don't prune it between now and late winter, as the flowers are a valuable source of late season nectar and the berries are loved by garden birds.


11. Prior to planting garlic, improve the soil’s structure, moisture retention and nutrient levels by incorporating organic matter. Apply about two bucketfuls of well-rotted manure or other organic matter such as garden compost every square metre (yard). Avoid using fresh manure.  Little fertiliser is required at planting. On average soils apply a balanced fertiliser such as Growmore at 25g per sq m (1oz per sq yd). Where organic matter was not applied, double the amount of fertiliser.


Allow 15cm (6in) between individual cloves and 30cm (1ft) between rows. Plant the cloves so the tips are 2.5cm (1in) below soil surface


After planting, garlic needs a cool, one- to two-month period at temperatures of 0-10°C (32-50°F) for good bulb development. Planting in late autumn (late October to November) or in early spring (depending on the cultivar) will provide the necessary chilling period.


Garlic is planted from bulb segments (cloves), so break up the bulb carefully into individual segments prior to planting.  Make sure that the cloves are planted the right way up: the flatter basal plate should be facing downwards.  Deeper planting can encourage better yields on light soils, but do not plant deeply on heavy soils.


As the foliage of garlic casts little shade, the crop can be easily swamped by weeds, which would negatively affect the plants’ growth and subsequent yields. Hand weed regularly. Hoeing can be tricky as the foliage and top of the bulb is easily damaged. To avoid this, consider planting through black plastic sheeting to suppress weeds.

Water every 14 days during prolonged spells of dry weather. Cease watering when the foliage begins to go yellow indicating onset of maturity. Try to avoid overhead irrigation that encourages fungal diseases.

12. Finish picking main crop apples, and store sound fruit, whilst using damaged fruit straight away.

 Recipe of the Month

Marrow - some cookery writers define its flavour as delicate.  This carries politeness too far.  The marrow swells and swells with water rather than goodness.  Once it has grown beyond 1.5kg it is no fun at all except as a vehicle for other flavours when making jam and chutney.  Although giant marrows have been known to be suspended in string bags from the attic beams of a Cotswold manor house to make Marrow whisky, it's success must be questionable or else every home would be festooned with marrows of fermenting liquor.


Marrow and Ginger Jam

2kg prepared marrow cubes

1.5kg preserving sugar

30g piece of root ginger

thinly peeled rind of 3 large lemons

juice of 3 large lemons


Sprinkle the marrow with one-third of the sugar and leave overnight.


Bash the ginger with a mallet to bruise the fibrous hardness.  Tie it with the lemon rind in a piece of muslin.


Put the marrow and its juices into a preserving pan, add the rest of the sugar, the lemon juice and the muslin bag, tied to the handle but well submerged.


Bring slowly to the boil, making sure the sugar is completely dissolved before boiling point is reached; the marrow will look transparent.  It is a good idea to taste the mixture after 15mins: if you think the ginger and lemon flavour is strong enough, remove the little bag, if not leave a little longer.


To test if the jam has set - When the mixture has thickened, place a saucer or a small plate in the freezer for 5 minutes or until chilled.  Spoon a little of the hot conserve onto the cold saucer. Return to the freezer for 2 minutes or until chilled.

Touch the conserve. If it wrinkles and feels gel-like, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, keep cooking and test it every 5 minutes.  Pot and seal as usual.

Dates for your Diary

RHS London Urban Garden Show

26 October 2018 (Late)5pm–10pm
27 October 201811am–8pm
28 October 201811am–6pm

Experience the cutting-edge of urban gardening at the RHS London Urban Show as this event reveals unusual ways to get more greenery into city life. Pick up exotic plants and botanically inspired products and explore nature through

RHS Lindley Hall and RHS Lawrence Hall, Westminster,  SW1P 2QW  (rhs.org.uk)

Quote of the Month

“I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October.”