Sandgate Community Garden: Update 28 March 2021

The slightly warmer weather has started to move some of the plants this week.  There was kale, purple sprouting, chard and spinach to pick, there is also wild garlic (popular for making into pesto), coriander, and a few mustard leaves which are now mature enough to make your eyes water they are that hot!  The broad beans were flowering underneath the fleece covers so we took them off or the pollinators will not be able to find them.  The fleece had been protecting the beans as well as the weeds so there was plenty to sort out.  As fast as we weed the sycamore seedlings all over the plot, they pop up again to make it look like nothing has been cleared.

There is a photo below showing the purple shoots of the Hythe Hops just poking through, totally surrounded by sycamore seedlings, and that is just in one small space!  So all the hops have survived their first winter and are all showing.  The hairy twine which the hops use to climb up has been fixed or replaced ready for them to romp away bigger and hopefully better than last year.

It seems that most of the plants have survived, and although we lost the annual flowers that seemed to come through the previous winter, they had time to seed, and we can see nasturtiums, violas and pot marigolds popping up making the weeding more challenging to identify what to keep and what to hoe.   The welsh onions are just starting to flower, which will be appreciated by the insects, and with any luck provide us with more seeds.  Welsh onions are a perennial which just keep dividing and making more onions.  We are still using the seeds from our chives to grow lots of new plants. 

We are all very excited that from next week we will be able to have six of us at a time back in the garden, no more shifts of working in ones and twos for just an hour at a time.  We welcomed back one of our gardeners who has been away for months recovering from Covid and the after symptoms.  Once she had managed to stagger up the hill to the garden, she could at least sit in the sunshine and sow some seeds and gather some energy to walk home again, armed with some spinach and kale to make a smoothie to help on the road to recovery.   In celebration we think that next week we should certainly indulge in some cake sharing to mark the start of spring, the chance to work together again and look forward to better times to come (like planting tomatoes perhaps!)

Reminder –From Wednesday 21st April – Tomato plants are available

Last but not least a big THANK YOU to the supermarket Morrison’s for very kindly donating 10 plants, a mix of perennial flowering plants, herbs and a gooseberry bush.  Some of them are to be planted at Enbrook Park, whilst others will go to the garden at Fremantle Park.  We have an invitation to come back again for more plants when they have more stock with particular plants we have on our wish list.

What’s next?

  • Stake the broad beans and run twine around
  • Stake the edges of the raspberry patch
  • Can the pond be put back together yet?
  • Sow fancy nasturtiums, leeks and celeriac
  • Plant gaps in onion beds
  • Have the new rhubarb plants arrived?
  • Plant more perennials in the flower garden area
  • Keep pot plants watered and newly planted seedlings