Sandgate Community Garden: Update 20 October 2019

Well, we really have had enough rain now, and had little chance of doing much on the plot this week…however, there has been plenty going on behind the scenes!

It has been a truly amazing week of donations.  Put out the call that something is needed, and the Sandgate Community rallies round and provides, just brilliant!  We now have the offer of a sturdy bench to sit on…… we just have to work out how to get it there….thank you to Hilary and Eddie for that.  Thanks go out also to Lewis as we now have a wheelbarrow at last……. Such luxury!

Jill donated two cloches, already put to work protecting some winter spinach, a compost bin from Joanne,  and another from Sal…they really will be put to good use as we have filled one up already and are starting on the other.  The impending expansion has meant a good think and look at what we need to do over the winter in preparation for spring. 

As we are so close to the sea, the wind whips across the plot and brings salt which has an impact on how and what we grow.  A windbreak should be the answer – the best form being a hedge that can slow the wind down and, take some of the force over the top and away from the crops.  So once the new area has been dug over, we will be planting a mixed coastal wildlife hedge to include plants that can take the strain, with an emphasis on Sea Buckthorn which has berries that also happen to be a superfood.  To help the hedge along, as well as to protect the crops until the hedge is mature, we will need to put in temporary net fencing around part of the plot.  The hedge, once mature, will also be a great wildlife haven.  To encourage even more wildlife, we also hope to be able to provide a small shallow wildlife pond and are working on plans to do this.  Of course, all this costs money, and again we have been fortunate enough just this week to have been donated £200 from the Sandgate Society as well as £200 from the Parish Council.  This money means we can now achieve these plans, and more….details to follow at another time.  Thank you!!

We have a follower and well-wisher by the name of Freddie who had expressed an interest in buying two apple trees for the garden.  Brogdale apple festival in Faversham seemed to be the best place to find these trees as they have over 2,000 varieties to choose from (see photos attached)!  A member of their staff recommended an eating and a cooking variety, perfect for the site, and we now have two Heritage apple trees!  Thank you Freddie!

Wow!  What a lot has happened in one week, and although we did not manage to get much done on the plot, there has been a start made working with the Saga Nursery children outside their classroom with the planting of some onion and garlic sets, plus some broad beans.  We sowed some sweetpea seeds, planted some winter hardy plants plus some bellis daisies and winter pansies for a bit of winter and spring colour.  Next week the children will be helped to plant some spring bulbs.  Oh, and Chris gave them a pineapple plant to grow inside their classroom…our fingers are crossed for that one!

What’s next?

  • There are plants and trees to be planted
  • Posts to be put in the ground and wires to be attached
  • Banana tree needs to be wrapped
  • Leaves to be composted
  • More tidying hoeing and digging!