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Medieval to 16th century | 17th - 19th century | Garden Restoration | The Nonsuch Restoration Project

~ Informative articles on the history of gardening and garden restoration ~

Watering and Sewering the Kitchen Garden
by Duncan MacDonald



As rain water (next to pond and river water) contributes most to the vegetation of plants, drains should be contrived to carry the rain water from the roofs of the dwelling, etc., into a basin or reservoir. If you have hard water only, pump it several days before it is used: lumps of chalk thrown into the well, and more when the water is drawn, will much contribute to soften it; a basin, for its reception, made with clay, will soften it more than if made with bricks.

If you have no convenience for constructing a basin, two or three tubs should be procured at a spring: oil casks or rum puncheons will answer the purpose; coat them with white paint; and, before they dry, strew sand over them; repeating this painting and sanding three or four times in the bottom, both inside and outside, and the tubs will last many years.

Sink them into the ground, and convey the water into the highest first, from which it may easily be conveyed to the others by wooden troughs. Put chalk at the bottom.

One of the tubs near the hotbeds will be very convenient; and, also, one near the strawberry plantation; as, in dry weather, there will be no fruit unless they are watered.

A tub should also be sunk into the ground, to receive the drainings of the dunghill, the chamberlye from the house, and the brine in which meat has been salted; this will serve for watering asparagus and other early crops, blighted fruit trees, etc.

Please also visit Old London Maps on the web as many of the maps
and views available there have plans and depictions of gardens from
the medieval period through to the late nineteenth century.

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