Sandgate Community Garden: Update 11 October 2020

Surprisingly fine sunny weather for both of our gardening sessions this week, which meant we were able to start to get to grips with making our changes to the plot over the winter.  We are following the ‘rule of six’, and are taking it in turns to come along, with some taking a half shift so that somebody else can visit later.

The rain has filled up the pond in no time at all, and with the pond plants, is looking pretty good.  We cut back some of the sides so that not so much of the plastic liner is showing, always a very dodgy exercise, and one of us nearly ended up head first in it.

Before we can cover the plots with new compost, or replant we have been getting out the hoes and clearing weeds that have a habit of turning into a monster as soon as your back is turned.  We did not get time to plant the elephant garlic, but there is still time.  We are concentrating on sorting out our compost area to make it look neater, and creating an area for the herbs to be together instead of spread out around the plot, and the bench is to be moved.  The disappointment of not getting any strawberries, probably mostly due to the visiting foxes and badgers has led us to change tack and try another way of growing them.  We have moved the salad boxes and have used them to make two high strawberry boxes with the hope that unless the mammals are good at climbing we might actually get a crop next year.  We can but hope that this might do the trick.

We have been exchanging many recipes for tomatoes, both green and red, from soups to chutneys.  Pesto making is also popular, and we are looking forward to a promised recipe that uses nasturtiums.  One of our gardeners photographed a fabulous still life with some of the produce, many of us thought it was an old painting until we looked closer – the banana squash probably gave it away (pictured below).  We are hoping to persuade her to keep taking these pictures as the seasons go on, as they would be works of art in themselves.

What’s next?

  • Plant up that elephant garlic, and perhaps the ordinary garlic now sprouted in the modules.
  • Keep working on the compost and strawberry areas
  • Does the Chinese cabbage netting need to be removed?
  • More weeding along the fence line and wall areas.