Sandgate Community Garden: Update 2 February 2020

A reasonably quiet week, we are still trying to resolve the problem of getting hold of lots of compost to put on the garden to improve the soil, without having to part with lots of money, and we think we are about to solve it.  Having recently read an article about electro-mechanical composting machines that can convert garden and food waste into highly nutritious compost in just 14 days, we are beginning to feel quite envious!  However, this amazing machine is not to be our saviour – but who knows what the future may bring!

We inherited with the site a large patch of wild garlic which last year looked quite battered and sorry for its self, but by this week was looking very lush and had increased to twice its size.   So we dug up what seemed a small mountain of the stuff to put into many a dish, to include soup, stir fry and blitzed into a pesto – delicious.  All parts of the plant can be eaten, and the leaves can be continued to be picked throughout the year to be put with mixed salad leaves.

The pond has very nearly filled, and so the excess liner was cut away and the edges were tucked into the ground.  We still have lots to do to make the pond an attractive wildlife asset, but it is getting there.

It was high time we plotted where and what trees we had in the orchard, as two of the labels had already disappeared and it would be a shame not to know exactly what we have.  Officially the definition of an orchard is just five trees together, which does not seem very many at all.  Happily, with the addition in the next week or so of two more pear trees, we shall have double that number. 

One of the pictures attached is of a patch of nicotiana or tobacco plant which is standing tall by the wall and has flowered all of January – simply amazing for this time of year and probably says something about how warm it has been so far this winter and how much shelter the wall gives, and how much heat it radiates.  Also attached is a picture of the last gate, hand crafted by Jeff, a Saga gardener – thanks Jeff!

What’s next?

  • It is all systems go to get the compost in place – subject to successful negotiations.
  • We have more posts that need to be put in against the wall for climbers and espaliers.
  • Spend some time to see if any birds are checking out our bird boxes and nesting materials.