Sandgate Community Garden: Update 5 September 2021

What a fabulous time we had at the Sea Festival last Sunday.  Nobody could have wished for better weather considering what it had been like previously.  Tucked up against the wall on the seafront outside the castle, we managed to stay out of any wind amd it was just perfect.  We managed to raise a massive £308.29 from the stall with the help of many of the volunteers plus a £20 donation from favourite auntie M.  A special mention to Ali and Tania pictured below as they raised over £30 by baking some most delicious muffins for the occasion.  Many thanks for all the love and support we experienced from everyone there. 

Well now we are in September, and it might have felt as if it has always been raining in August, but the rain gauage said that just 77.8 mm of the wet stuff came down during the month, and it is getting quite dry again.  The first Hythe hops collection date was supposed to have been  Thursday, however the Oast House where all the hops get dried was not able to take them, and so the next harvest date is Sunday 12th September instead, weather permitting.  Many of the hop growers are saying that the harvest is very variable this year, some had been slow to make a start, and some, like our own, had been damaged during high winds.   Time will tell, and we shall see once all the hops are gathered and the collective weight recorded. 

The sweet peas finally gave up the ghost this week and have been removed, they certainly lasted longer than they did last year and seemed to enjoy the cooler wetter weather.  Only the tomato plants at Enbrook park are blight free now.  Some people seem to worry that tomato plants affected by blight will make the actual tomatoes inedible.  As long as the fruit shows little or no sign of blight, then they are fine to eat – even green tomatoes can be removed and ripened on a windowsill, so just try to make the most of what is there under such circumstances.

The second sowing of mustards and winter lettuces did not get done so will have to be urgently on the list for this week.  The third lettuce sowings of the year are now mature enough to pick and take over from the second sowings which have finally gone to seed as have the tree spinach which will be left to mature for collecting, however that will most likely seem pointless as once you have let this one go to seed in the garden, it will likely be with you forever!

On Sunday 5th September, the Walk and Talk about the Sandgate Community Gardens and ‘no dig’ will be taking place, so if you have booked a place with the Sandgate Society, we will look forward to seeing you there!

What’s next?

  • Sow those mustard seeds and winter lettuces pronto
  • Keep watering and watering
  • Prepare the area where the sweet peas were and plant up with seedlings waiting to go out
  • Plant out the new spinach plants Consider having to resite the cold frames for the winter