Sandgate Community Garden: Update 12 April 2020

These warm sunny days have started to bring the plants on at full speed and we are juggling with greenhouse/window ledge space.  All the plants that can cope with the cooler spring weather have been sown or planted, and we are now looking to starting to sow the warm loving plants such as courgettes, squashes, cucumbers and sweet corn.  There have also been new sowings of leeks and sunflowers, and planting of sweet peas, parsley, wild rocket, peas for pea shoots, and potatoes.  The first radishes planted March 1st were picked this week as well as a few pea shoots – the taste of spring!

Rain promised in the weather reports failed to materialise, and so we had to start the laborious but now necessary job of hand watering with watering cans.  The trick is to water thoroughly but not that frequently, rather than a sprinkle every day…..  Water what needs it because of fast growth at a particular time, or is trying to get established, instead of watering everything at the same rate.  No rain in sight this week either, when there was so much of it not that long ago.

If you fancy growing some tomatoes this year and have not been able to get some seeds or have managed to murder your own already – we will have plenty of spare plants suitable for outside growing in pots or in the garden available in a couple of weeks.  We have cherry, beef, and yellow plum varieties, and a picture below shows just how strong and healthy they are looking.  More information next week on how and when you can get yours. 

Bee news

There are some pictures below of the bees inside the hive taken by Ray on his first inspection of the year.  It seems all is as it is to be expected at this point of the year which is reassuring, and the queen is in residence; she is the bee with the yellow spot painted on her.  Ray has observed, eggs, larvae and pollen stores within the hive, and in order to give the brood a good chance to grow into the season, has reconfigured the colony into a nucleus box which is sitting next to the hive.  He then set to work on some new super frames in anticipation of an expansion……

What’s next?

  • Keep an eye on the weather as we have removed some of the fleece covers and they may have to go back on again if it gets too cool.
  • Watering and weeding
  • Sow carrots and parsnips direct
  • Grrrrrrrr!  Still need to wire the posts for the plants to climb up, ran out of time this week again!