Sandgate Community Garden: Update 16 August 2020

It has been a very busy week, coping with the weather, watering new plants as well as the thirsty usual.  Some of the gardeners had a glut of plums and greengages, which others were happy to make into Jam for sharing, thank you Theresa and Peter!

Many of the squash and courgette plant leaves had mildew which makes the plants look pretty bad, but is in fact nothing to worry about, and does not harm any of the fruits.  We spent some time cutting off the leaves affected as they do little for the plant.  After some rain, the winter squashes perked up no end as they were on the end of the list for watering as they still have some time to be growing until harvest.  The tomatoes are quite heavy with tomatoes now and the growing tips were removed so that they can concentrate on the fruit they already have to ripen before it is autumn, and not on growing any more.

We have some self-sown plants of ‘lambs ears’ and borage available if any of you would like some for your gardens.  We are often asked about the plants that attract the bees, and below is a picture of a cardoon which is now flowering and is extremely popular with the bees, where they become smothered in pollen.  The cardoon is very similar to the globe artichoke, but not so good to eat.  We have a globe artichoke planted this year, but as yet it is very tiny!

Talking of flowers, there are plenty on the runner beans and they are starting to arrive.  We have white and red flowered varieties.  We pulled up some of the carrots we were given, sown into modules and planted out a few weeks ago; they are a prime example of why it is not such a good idea to transplant them as you can see from the picture below they are very wonky!

This week we have sown coriander, spinach and mooli radish seeds.  It can still be a problem getting hold of certain seeds, but luckily the seed companies are gradually getting in fresh supplies, as the shop supplies dwindle, there are sometimes bargains to be had as they want to get rid of  this year’s stock.  We planted more chard, salad and beetroot.  The soy beans have not been up to much, but they have been dug up several times by visiting furry friends – they never stood a chance, as have several other plants on the edges of the beds where they are rescued and replanted if we catch them in time, or get frazzled in the sun if not!

The Hythe Hops organisers are starting to get busy as we are now closer to harvest.  We were sent a questionnaire to fill in, reporting back on if we have flowers or hops, colour of the hops and estimation of how many so that a prediction can be made as to the exact harvest date and how much is expected so that the breweries can be warned.  We sent in more photographs, and hope at some point to have a professional photograph taken of the volunteer gardeners and our hops for posterity!

What’s next ?

  • More sowings of spinach, chard and radishes
  • Keep picking and watering if necessary
  • Weeding required in some areas
  • Assess space for future plantings
  • Start moving compost from the lower wall.