Sandgate Community Garden: Update 31 May 2020

This hot and dry weather has brought things on really fast, and it is a race to get as much as possible into the ground and keep up with the watering.  It is very interesting the differences between the planting zones we have in the garden.  We have the very fine silty, sandy soil up against the wall, where the water rolls off the surface and runs away; we have some zones that have not had any compost added, or very little, and when dry is as hard as concrete; and then there are a  few improved areas which are easy to plant into, soaks up and retains the moisture but unfortunately attracts the badgers and probably foxes as they are great areas to find some good fat juicy worms, and so we replant after every wildlife foraging session!  The badger has just turned its attention to the strawberry patch, and frustrated by the netting, formulated the plan of sticking its nose as far into the mesh as possible and straining the ripe strawberries through the strands of net.  How very resourceful.  It will probably be a fact that we can kiss goodbye to the sweet corn too when that ripens.  We just have to appreciate that we are creating a restaurant for the wildlife, and will be sharing certain things.

We have now started putting up some signs around the garden so that there is more information about what is being grown, and when a gardener is definitely going to be there, (although somebody is around at some point during the day).

The broad beans and garlic did mature this week, and have made way for more summer plantings of squashes, beans and tomatoes.  The courgettes and cucumbers did get planted, and there were more sowings of salad leaves and beans.  The leeks sown in April have been potted up and are on standby for when the potatoes finish maturing which will be in June or July depending on the variety.

Can you believe there is actually a frog in our wildlife pond/puddle?  That is one brave frog considering the current low water situation and lack of pond plants!  Even though we know the pond still needs working on, there are always birds in there having a bath, as well as queues of honey bees having a drink, and we have this week been seeing dragon flies having a look too.  It is great to think that it has attracted some wildlife already, and no doubt the badger has been in there too!

What’s next?

  • More signs to be put up to give more information on the garden.
  • Plant out very last of squashes and cucumbers etc.
  • Water, water, water…. But in a smart way
  • Prepare the ground where the garlic was, for planting
  • Stop putting off getting the wheelbarrow wheel fixed and the last of the fence post wires being put in!