Sandgate Community Garden: Update 13 June 2021

Enbrook Park is looking particularly fabulous at the moment.  The growth is looking very fresh and green, and the birdsong you can hear as you travel through is delightful to hear.   Most stunning is the sheer number of flowers throughout the park which are attracting great numbers of bees and other pollinators.  Paul (the park head gardener) estimates there is around 19,000 square meters of flowering meadow this year, which is the most left uncut in the last three years.  The paths forged through and around frame the effect, and it is well worth looking at all the different wild flowers showing through as well as all the different forms of grass flower too – just beautiful.  The picture below does it no justice whatsoever!   

This week the emphasis has been on watering the new plantings and the fast growing such as the onions trying to swell, and the rapid growth of pea shoots and new lettuce leaves.  It has been hot work by hand, but the rolling sea mists have been a welcome event, and helped to provide a little moisture.  The last of the basil got planted as did the dwarf beans, and the kale which was looking healthy and perfect one day, was decimated and torn to shreds the next by pigeons probably as a result of the gooseberries being covered over – and so these were the next to have to be netted or lose them altogether.  Seeds sown this week were beetroot, Romanesco broccoli, kale and swede.  The lettuce seeds sown last week are emerging, and will soon need ‘pricking out’ or transferring  into more growing space so as not to be competing with other seedlings.

The tree spinach pictured below with its cerise pink new leaves is just starting to take off and show itself which means we will soon be able to pick a few leaves and make a colourful addition to salads.  These particular plants are a miracle in that it was thought that all the seed for this was lost, until just by chance, and after several years of not being seen, two seedlings suddenly popped up in a garden plant pot.  They were allowed to flower and set seed then later collected and sown this spring.  Simply amazing.

Below is a picture of several packets of seeds kindly donated to us by Seed Craft based right here in Folkestone.  For just £8 per month Seed Craft will send you 4 packets of seeds ready to be sown, along with comprehensive growing guides and tips to help you make a success of your growing experience.  This seems such a great idea, helping to support gardeners to grow seasonal food at the right time, which unless meticulously planned throughout the year, can be overwhelming.  If you like the idea of growing your own food but lack the confidence, this could be for you and they can be found on Facebook or Instagram, and they have a website

What’s next?

  • Rampaging Goji berry plants still need tackling and tying in
  • Keep watering the new plantings especially the dwarf beans
  • Maybe prick out the new lettuce plants
  • Tackle any emerging bindweed and mare’s tails
  • Keep watering and picking salad leaves