Sandgate Community Garden: Update 7 February 2021

The weather continues to impact on progress this week, but not that surprising for early February.  It was too wet to work at the garden on Wednesday as it was last Saturday, but happily there was a break in the clouds for this Saturday morning and a scramble to book an hour session. 

The figures for January rainfall were 152.1mm, which is rather a lot and certainly explains why the grass at Fremantle and Enbrook is so saturated and slippery. 

In spite of the fact the snowdrops are out in full flower and now the wild primroses at Enbrook, we are in for a tough week to come with snow and the freezing cold out to test the vegetables we have been nurturing and covering in the past few months – it will be a difficult time for them.  Many of these winter hardy plants have their own inbuilt anti-freeze, and are not therefore reduced to a mush when a hard frost happens, however, they do have their limits.

No sooner had our newsletter gone out last week mentioning the need to order some wild flower seeds for a bare earth patch, one of our gardeners, and font of knowledge about such things, had been on the case and got the seeds already.  We are to look forward to a wildflower mix of 16 flower species, known as a ‘moths and butterflies’ garden mix – sounds fabulous.  These days there are a multitude of wild flower mixes available for every garden situation you can imagine, the choice is mind boggling.

The seed potatoes are now available to buy.  Too early to plant out as they suffer from the frost, so they are being ‘chitted’, the process of allowing them to put out a few shoots whilst sitting on an indoor window ledge, just waiting for that time in early April when they will be planted.  We have just one variety called ‘Charlotte’, and we may get others, but space is tight and they take up rather a lot, so you have to be selective.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a kind local who instead of getting rid of, or composting spare plants from the garden, had put them out on their drive for anybody passing to take.  We had another opportunity to acquire more flowering perennials being removed from a garden, and so planted some in Enbrook garden, as well as potted up many more to be planted in any of our other sites.  Day lilies, geraniums, crocosmias, and irises, will all make a lovely display to benefit us, and of course the visiting insects.  It looks as if there will be lots of things to look forward to in the garden this year.  A picture of a vase of sweet peas has been added to the photos below to remind you of what is around the corner.

What’s next?

  • If the frosts are severe it would be best to just keep checking all the covers and nets are in place
  • Make sure the pond is not frozen solid – make a hole in the ice
  • First seed sowings will be in mid – February, so check out plant trays and compost in preparation.