Sandgate Community Garden: Update 17 May 2020

The very first newsletter documenting the beginnings of the garden was dated 17th May 2019, and so we are now one whole year old!  Seems incredible as so much seems to have happened in that time, and so the story continues to develop!

It has been a fight with nature this week.  It started with a turn in the weather from warm sunny days to an arctic blast of wind and cold that ripped the fleece from our tomato plants, shredded and froze them.  Some of them will survive but it goes to show you can never be complacent and take things for granted.  It would be interesting to be able to set up a camera in the garden to log it’s visitors as it seems we have a fox or possibly a badger that enjoys getting into the net cloches and running amuck, digging holes and throwing plants about, possibly looking for worms to eat.  We often have to replant, although they do not seem to care much for the turnip patch.  Nature has a great way of reminding that we are not the masters of all things, just to keep you on your toes.

Happily we still managed to move onwards, and have planted some sunflowers.  Last year we had three plants close to the wall, and they towered over the garden.  We have planted over a dozen outside the garden and up against the wall and hope they will put on a fabulous show this year.  We also planted some zinnias, for cut flowers, a few more turnips and celeriac plus some sweet corn, with the view that we might have turned the corner in the weather now.

We brought our spare plants along on Saturday, and had a steady trickle of people looking for an addition or two for vegetable plots.  However we still have a variety of squashes, summer and winter, plus a few cucumbers and bell pepper plants available this Wednesday from 10am to midday.  So avoid the huge queue at the garden centre, and come to the garden instead.

Bee news

Ray and Chris are happy that the bees are settling into the job of increasing the colonies and collecting plenty of pollen.  They make regular inspections, but never if it is too cool as this would be detrimental to the temperature inside the hive.  The bees can often be seen drinking from the pond, and if not very careful, swimming in it too!  Luckily there are various places they can escape.

The pictures attached are of massacred tomato plants and a reminder of last year’s sunflowers.

What’s next?

  • Watering new plantings and seedlings as no rain is in sight yet again
  • Plant cosmos and dahlias
  • Might be able to plant bush and runner beans this week, and a few courgettes
  • Check onions and garlic for flowers
  • Finish mulching the hedge
  • Get some more fixings for the wired posts, and a new wheel for a wheelbarrow!