Sandgate Community Garden: Update 24 May 2020

We swapped the cold windy weather this week for warmer windy weather.  We bit the bullet and started the changeover from spring, to summer plantings of courgettes, beans, squashes and sweet corn.  The Zinnias and cosmos are in their bed, and the dahlias next to them.  We have put in runner beans again this year, but the way the poles were being rocked about in the wind this weekend, we have to be realistic that they might find the plot too harsh to thrive, and stick to dwarf beans instead.  The courgettes and squashes have had covers put over them for a while until they establish a few roots and will not be ripped out by the wind; however the fencing is definitely helping.

We have been overwhelmed by community kindness this week.  Upon reading about our unknown nocturnal visitor in our last newsletter, Chris (one of our beekeepers), set up a camera in the garden to see if we could capture on film just what was going on.  We got film clips of one of our gardeners doing some late evening watering (well done Theresa), a few cats, birds, a fox, and then amazing footage of a badger strolling around and generally having a great time.  He was there the next night too and confirmed just what we had thought. There is a picture of the badger attached, and a short film has been uploaded to our Instagram and Facebook pages.  Chris has since kindly donated the camera to the garden and so we will be able to keep an eye on local wildlife when we are generally not around.

A local gentleman brought some spare wire fencing, up to the garden for us to use, and five people all came along at various intervals loaded with their spare tomato plants, having heard the plight of ours that were lost to the cold last week – thank you Erica, Sheila, Gill, Andrea and Rosie, how amazing and wonderful you are!  Thank you. 

We had a few of our own spare plants that went to new homes on Wednesday, and we were donated a total of £30.65 to buy more seeds/plants.  As well as having many people drifting by to pick up new stock, we have had plenty wandering past just to have a look at what is growing and to have a chat about all things fruit and veg.  We have had so many compliments, which is a great tribute to our gardeners and the hard work they put in, planting, weeding, watering and staking.

What’s next?

  • We appreciate that there is not enough information on display in the garden, and so one of our gardeners has been busy making chalk board notices which we will start to display around the garden.  There is also a new sign kindly being supplied by Saga which will eventually be situated outside the fence.
  • Keep an eye on the broad beans and onions/garlic for signs of going over.
  • More plantings of courgettes and maybe cucumbers if the long term weather is settled
  • Keep checking the watering situation
  • Sowings of more beans plus lettuces for summer
  • Still need a wheel kit for the wheelbarrow and fencing fixings