Sandgate Community Garden: Update 19 July 2020

Every session these days there is something to pick, this week was salad leaves, the first of the dwarf beans, beetroot, courgettes and summer squashes, along with the last of the spring onions.  The sweet peas are producing more and more flowers, as are the zinnias, and now a few dahlias.  We are always pleased to see any visitors on our Wednesday and Saturday morning sessions keen to take produce home with them, and have had reports of how flavoursome the vegetables are.   

The kale and purple sprouting got planted, two varieties of each, and immediately they were covered with a fine mesh to prevent the cabbage white butterflies from laying their eggs.  It is also important to make sure the plants are clean of eggs before they go under cover.  Any outside the mesh will have to be checked and cleaned every week as a caterpillar infestation can finish them off.  Cabbage whites can be seen dancing around the brassicas desperate to get at them.

Since reporting on the amount of blackfly last week, happily this week there is evidence of more and more predators such as ladybirds.  It makes sense for them to appear in numbers after infestations, to give them plenty of food to eat, and they certainly have some catching up to do.

With extra weed, the pond is starting to look more pond like!  It still leaves a lot to be desired, but if you take time to really peer into the water it is teeming with all kinds of creatures, including a spaniel that decided to squeeze under the fence and jump in one hot day…… we need to put some mesh along those gaps!

Bee news

Our bees in the garden are always looking very busy, and we are assured by Ray and Chris that all is well.  Ray has been busy collecting honey from another hive he has, and Chris has her own new hive close by.  Her bees are collecting pollen that is black in colour, and it will be interesting to find out what that may have come from on the pollen chart for July.

Incredible Edible news

The Incredible Edible team have been measuring up and planting large planters in Cheriton High Street.  Several shop keepers are keen to have their own edible displays.  The lettuces in the Sandgate High Street planter have been harvested and hopefully eaten.  They have been replaced with Palla Rossa Chicory and some edible viola flowers ….. they look great mixed in with a leaf salad.  We hope to have some news about things taking shape in the Golden Valley area of Sandgate soon.

What’s next?

  • Keep picking, weeding and watering.
  • Get some mesh in the fence gaps
  • Check the Pink Fur Apple potatoes to see if they are ready…. If so, harvest and replace with more kale.
  • Sow more chard, and maybe some Chinese cabbage