Sandgate Community Garden: Update 10 January 2021

Looking back at the list of things to do last week, there are still many of the jobs unfinished.  A combination of a seriously cold and soggy start to the week, and the fact we cannot meet in numbers is slowing us down.  We are taking it in turns to visit the garden to carry out tasks, and others are doing what they can if they take their exercise there. 

Some of the parsnips were pulled up, and they did not seem too bad considering!  The outside of the perimeter fence has been tidied, and yet more wood chips moved.  Two large pots of mint have been divided to make several new plants – always satisfying to make many plants from the one parent, and they will all be used for various projects this year.   The Goji berry plants got staked and tied in and the kale covered in netting again, as something had obviously discovered it and had been having a great time tearing some of the leaves off!

In complete contrast, the planters at Fremantle Park are full of brassicas, with no netting, and are looking incredibly good.  Always interesting to grow the same things in different situations and contemplate the results.

We practice ‘no dig’ gardening, and our modern day guru is Charles Dowding.  The principles of ‘no dig’ have been around for longer than gardens have existed, and Charles has a sensible, no fuss approach which is easy to follow and apply to any garden.  He has recently developed a new type of seed tray or growing modules which are perfect for our needs.   Like him, we constantly struggle to find plant trays that will keep their shape and allow you to take the plants out easily without breaking; deep enough to grow most things, and with sixty cells per tray, plenty of plants can be brought on at a time.  After only a few days online, the trays were all sold out, and we emailed to tell Charles how disappointed we were, but took the opportunity to tell him about the garden and include a few pictures.  Lo and behold he swiftly replied, offering to pay for all the trays we wanted when the next batch is manufactured, and £250 for any future project!  How amazing and kind; he has gone up even further in our estimation.  It was also intimated that some of our pictures may be used, with our agreement, on his web site – fame at last.

Talking of fame and being on web sites, the Sandgate Parish Council now has all of our weekly newsletters since the garden began, documenting our progress, on their web site, to be found under the Community section on the main menu.  Tim Prater, our Parish Council Chairman, has spent many an hour patiently going through each letter and putting them down for posterity.  How proud and chuffed we are, thank you Tim!

What’s Next?

Much of the same as per last week:

  • Clear the Oca and parsnips
  • Mulch the uncovered beds
  • Cut back the sedge grass and brambles from the bee hive path
  • Start to trim back the perimeter hedge.
  • Still got wood chips and compost to sort out