Sandgate Community Garden: Update 11 July 2021

For some time now, every week, the Sandgate Parish Council has archived our newsletter and all the pictures.  It has proved to be very useful being able to look back at what we were doing and compare notes with where we are this year.  Here is the link:

Entries for the 5th and 12th July 2020 were uncanny!  We were rescuing wind scorched and battered plants as well as sploshing about in plenty of rain, and that is the story of this week too!  The winds that came through the start of the week caused havoc and Saturday morning session was a complete washout with just three of us daring to venture up there.  Surprisingly, the two planters along the seafront although needing to be tidied, still had flowers and parts intact which can be rescued.

This year has been much cooler and wetter – the rainfall for June was 107mm and we have not had to water for some time.  One very big difference is that last year we were observing many cabbage white butterflies flitting about the brassicas, and although they are not a gardeners favourite insect for obvious reasons, there has only been one observed in the garden this year, and that is not good.  The brassica seedlings do have a few bright green caterpillars which are from something else, and we have made sure there are plenty of nasturtiums around for all caterpillars to take advantage of. 

The kale, Romanesco and purple sprouting went immediately in the spaces where the broad beans were.  Even more lettuces got planted, chicory, endive and carrots thinned out to make extra growing space, chard and kaibroc sown.  We will only sow lettuce four times in the year and this week we shall make sowing number three to provide salad leaves for the autumn.  We have a gap of leaves between sowing one and two which has been a lesson on trying harder for that not to happen another time. 

The soft fruit this year has generally done much better for being that year older.  Although the currant bushes got wind battered, they do have some fruit which must be netted if we are to get any.  The gooseberries have given more this year, and there is still some to pick between the showers.  Although the rhubarb is not a fruit, our two original plants have grown well.  The three new roots of rhubarb are also looking good but will not be touched this year to give them a chance to get established.  The autumn raspberries have managed to stand up well to wind and are looking very green and lush with some of them just starting to flower.  In front of them are the goji berries which were sporting an entire colony of climbing snails.  Not too sure why they had taken to climbing precariously over six feet to get where they were, however they have since been relocated to pastures new.

What’s next?

  • Still need to take down the sugar snap pea plants and support
  • Tie in the sweet pea new growth
  • Keep checking for tomato side shoots and remove
  • Sow the autumn lettuces
  • Take out the finished daisies and compost
  • Finish picking the gooseberries and net the currants