Sandgate Community Garden: Update 22 August 2021

Thanks to all those who pointed out the typo in last week’s newsletter which seemed to cause much hilarity – it just goes to prove that the update does get read!

It was mentioned last week that tomato blight is in the locality, and it has appeared in our plants at the Golden Valley, so Saturday morning was spent scrutinising the tomato plants at Enbrook, however it seems we have got away with it right now.  Even so it will be a case of really keeping an eye out for it and removing the infected areas or even the whole plant as soon as it is seen.  It is probably a case of when not if. 

As there is so much growth in the garden and we are full to the brim, it is ideal conditions for some mighty big weeds to sneak in, snuggle up against the vegetables and take away the water from their roots – before you know it you have a monster weed and an overwhelmed tiny vegetable plant.  It is always good practice to remove the competition, and whilst picking various things around the garden to also have a container  to collect the weeds so that they can be composted.  The habit is often to leave them for later or to pull them and place them on the floor where they often still manage to drop their seeds or even re-root if the soil and weather is wet.  We put absolutely everything in the compost heap and have no worries about all the weeds from mares tails to nettles and bindweed, they are all composted.  You can tell from turning the compost that there is nothing left of the plant material except good compost, and seeds will have been mostly heated and destroyed as part of the composting process.   If there are vast amounts of bindweed, it can be laid out in the sun to dry out thoroughly before being added to the compost if you are worried about it regrowing.  Most weeds are best removed whilst still small and can be easily hoed on a fine dry day, or just pulled between finger and thumb.  Easy if the beds have a good layer of compost.

Some trays of spring onions and more winter radishes got sown this week.  We had a delivery of ready to sow seeds from the amazing Seed Craft company in Folkestone.  They sent us a box of seeds a little while back and we were delighted to receive this one too – many thanks.  The dill, coriander and chervil plants got planted.  The second batch of  lettuces are now standing up on great long stalks in response to their outer leaves being removed weekly.  The timing between these and the next batch of lettuces may well be just right fortunately, as the new plants are just about ready for a first pick.

Lots of things are going on outside of the garden too.  ITV Meridian News heard the podcast on local radio about the Incredible Edible planters and areas in Sandgate and Cheriton.  They want to run a news story about the concept, and it would be fantastic if other neighbourhoods became as inspired as we were by the original group in Todmorden in Yorkshire.  All going well, Incredible Edible should be set to be on the local news Tuesday evening. 

The Community Gardeners are looking forward to being at the Sandgate Sea Festival next Sunday 29th, where we will be advertising the garden and raising funds. Please stop and say hello when you see us as it always cheers you up to see some friendly faces.

The Sandgate Society have kindly set up a walk and talk from the Community Garden at Enbrook to the garden at Freemantle Park, followed by refreshment at the Golden Arrow in the Golden Valley with the new landlords Shona and Richard.  The focus is on ‘no dig’ gardening, how to start and to let it be known just how easy it really all is.  You can make a bed and plant it up in just one day.

If you are interested in coming along then please contact the Sandgate Society  or ring Gemma on 07984 694907. The date is Sunday 5th September at 2pm.  The cost is £5 to include tea or coffee at the Golden arrow, and any profits will be ploughed back into the garden, so a brilliant cause!

What’s next?

  • Start planting the spinach plugs
  • Keep watering the new herb bed and smaller lettuces
  • Dismantle the last of the strawberry bed and rake ground
  • Raise some of the flat nets
  • Plant the Nero kale