Sandgate Community Garden: Update 28 June 2020

A week of far too much weather seems to have been the theme, going from one extreme to the other; however the rain was most welcome and saved us having to water at the end of the week, hooray!

A busy Wednesday morning, with many visitors to the garden, either having a look around, or coming to pick up some vegetables or flowers.  The sweet peas are starting to come quite fast now, and it is important to pick every one of them at each of our gardening sessions to encourage them to keep flowering and not to go to seed.  The zinnias also have started to bloom, as well as one or two dahlias. 

The Florence fennel has now finished, and the way made for beetroot, which will probably be planted next week.  We picked more broad beans, beetroot, salad leaves, a few potatoes, some courgettes, and a handful of blackcurrants, last of the mange tout, spring onions, and some baby parsnips thinned out from the parsnip bed to allow the others to grow bigger.  We can only expect a little fruit from the fruit bushes until they have matured a couple more years down the line, when we could be picking buckets!

The carrots sown just last week have already started to show, and we have had to cover them with mesh as the wildlife has started to kick the dirt around looking for something other than carrot seedlings.  We planted more lettuces, more dwarf French beans, more basil, and a couple more plants around the pond.  The compost bins got watered as they were becoming too dry, the tomatoes have had their side shoots removed, the cucumbers and climbing squashes tied in to their posts, and the hops have had their lower leaves removed to keep the plants clean.  Unbelievably, the second lot of asparagus planted ridiculously late at the beginning of June are now starting to show the tinniest bit of life thank goodness. 

We have an amazing group of volunteers at the garden, they are all enthusiastic and hardworking, happy to weed or water or tackle something in the garden they may never have done before.  Some of our gardeners had never sown seeds, and are now feeling confident enough to try sowing and growing even more in their own gardens.  Most people may be growing a few tomatoes and beans, but even if that is the only space you have available, there are things that can be grown before and after they have been dominant.  Below we have a picture of Chris’s enviable lemon tree (with lemons!), she has loads of tomatoes on the go too.  Rosie is growing all sorts of things to include, lots of herbs, chard, courgettes, squashes and cucumbers.  She is looking into where she can squeeze in even more – fantastic.

Lots of positive comments about the Incredible Edible planter in the High Street and it seems we now have volunteers to keep it watered and looked after – thank you so much.  Yet another Incredible Edible space is being developed in Sandgate.  It is currently being cleared and will be planted up with vegetables and perhaps a few companion flowers.  The site is somewhere in the back streets of Sandgate, so you will have to look quite hard to find it, however there will be some pictures when it is completed.  Already local passers-by have commented they are delighted to see the space being tidied and are interested in getting involved in looking after it …. Excellent, this is what Incredible Edible is all about.  It is hoped there will be more news about growing spaces in the area, and please get in touch if you would like to get involved as we would love to hear from you.

What’s next?

  • Collect some of the potatoes
  • Sow collected chive seeds in pots
  • Still not weeded the salad cloche
  • Still not thinned out all the carrots