Sandgate Community Garden: Update 13 October 2019

Bit of a wash out this week with the rain, however I hate to say we do still need it as dig down a bit, and it is still dry!

Some people have noticed that there is a mysterious line drawn beyond the plot, and yes, it is true, we are to expand further out into the grass!  We are very excited at the prospect, and are looking forward to filling this space too!  Thanks to Paul the Head gardener and Saga for their continued support and encouragement. 

We put out a message to the community for some items we need, we are still looking for offcuts of blue water pipe to use in the making of cloches, but we now have more compost bins and a leaf rake!  The message being please consider us before throwing garden resources out as we are good at recycling…… we could do with a wheelbarrow!

We are now the proud owners of a comprehensive compost making system, with leaf mulch on the go, and a three tiered way of producing the best compost going.  Happy days!  By moving or turning the compost on a regular basis, it incorporates air, mixing the contents, builds the heat needed to break it down and stops it becoming a nasty smelly and soggy mess with dry bits!  The final product will look like fruit cake, almost looks good enough to eat!

One of the great things about growing your own food is you have the choice to use chemicals in the form of pesticides and herbicides or not: to use natural methods have been our choice, and you have to take the rough with the smooth.  Our Chinese cabbages have been invaded by hordes of caterpillars, and at first we were intrigued that these looked quite unusual and interesting until we further realised they were sawfly larvae…. Ah well….too many to pick off as you can see from the photograph, and an important message learnt.. the need for vigilance, and to accept that growing organically benefits us and the wildlife! 

The nursery children helped us to plant some elephant garlic this week.  Elephant garlic is not actually a garlic as we know it, much milder, it belongs to the leek family, and is very tasty!

Finally, congratulations go this week to some of our members for the best squash soups (We might have to start a recipe page soon!), and to Chris for amazing us all by producing a home grown pineapple.  That takes some beating!

What’s next?

  • Empty those herb boxes!  We need to paint the boxes but the weather might decide otherwise!
  • Finish setting up the compost bins
  • Anyone got access to animal manure?  Horse, cow even alpaca!! Makes a great plant liquid feed!
  • Keep collecting those leaves – even in your own gardens!!
  • Planning – the next phase – expansion and planting for the next season.