Sandgate Community Garden: Update 25 April 2021

It is difficult to believe that it will be May next week, so many of the plants are behind, all those we are bringing on and tender,  are bursting out of their pots but no way will they get planted until it warms up and that cold wind has gone, the fleeces are staying on!  More sessions spent peeling back the covers, watering and rolling them back on again – it will be worth it.  We read about the French government pledging 1 billion euros of aid to their farmers because of damage to crops from frosts, it has been the same here.  Now the lack of rain is adding to the situation, and we spend most of the time watering when it used to be the April showers doing that job.

The bee keepers seem to have been particularly busy of late and having to choose an appropriate time when the temperature is warm enough to be able to open the hives and have a look inside.  Below is a picture of one of our beekeepers, Ray, doing just that and wearing all his protective clothing.

It was sunny enough for many of you to visit us at Enbrook Park and take home some of our spare tomato plants for a small donation.  We managed to raise £94.05 which is brilliant for just a few tomato plants, and enough to buy more seeds for next year.  The squashes and courgettes are now starting to romp away and we are bound to have too many for us to keep so drop us a message via email or through our Instagram or Facebook page if you are interested in taking some of them home too.

There was a little spare time between the watering to plant more spring onions, the Charlotte potatoes, and sow the cucumbers as well as the sunflower seeds given to us by Morrison’s as part of their ‘Seeds of Hope’  campaign to ‘plant hope for a brighter future as lockdown restrictions start to ease’.  Our contribution of 120 sunflower plants in and around Sandgate is a small part of the 25 million seeds being distributed, but they will be most welcome, and supplement the flowers we are growing for Kent’s Plan Bee.  These are dwarf varieties which is just as well considering our giant sunflowers last year and the year before got blasted when a couple of summer storms charged through!

If you want to help make a difference in your community and would like to support the Community Gardens and Incredible Edible, we are looking for volunteers to help water the planters and small garden spaces, but if you cannot spare the time or would find the activity of watering too strenuous, we depend on donations to be able to buy more planters and all the things it takes to fill them with everything edible for humans as well as bees.  Come up to the Enbrook garden Wednesday or Saturday morning, or message us via our Instagram or Facebook page.  If everybody did just a little bit our neighbourhood could be more than simply fabulous.

What’s next?

  • Start re-potting the squash and courgette plants
  • Keep on watering – no rain in sight
  • Make sure we are not watering the weeds
  • Sow chard
  • Pull up rogue potatoes from last year!
  • First picking of lettuces?
  • Encourage the hops to wind clockwise around the twine