Sandgate Community Garden: Update 21 November 2021

It continues to be mild, and the garden is still confused.  There are many things that would have been cleared or finished by now in the depths of November with Christmas being advertised as just around the corner; but the cosmos, nasturtium.and marigolds are still in flower, being visited by many bumble bees.  We have been pulling leeks and black radishes, and there are still salad leaves, kaibroc and plenty of chard and spinach if you do not mind the holes!

The mustards we planted in boxes in the cold frames are proving most tasty but can only harvest a couple of leaves from each plant per week as the short daylight hours restrict the growth rate, and it takes time for them to replenish themselves.  The autumn leaves continue to fall and we have quite a full leaf compost bin already,  Unfortunately whilst fishing fallen leaves from the pond, our net got broken having been well used, so we will need to invest in another before all the leaves have eventually fallen to try and keep the pond clear. 

Although there are no new seeds to sow or seedlings to plant for a while, there are plenty of tasks needing to be done to maintain the structure of the plot, and since our amazing gift of green waste compost, we will soon begin on the mulching of many of the beds and permanent plantings.  We bagged up some of the new compost,  several bags were used to mulch the alleyway between Chichester Road and Meadowbrook, and the rest is to be taken to Sandgate Park and Fremantle Park for the great fruit tree planting on Sunday 21st

Later we will start to replenish the paths at Enbrook with our store of woodchips too.  The paths are just as important as the beds as many of the plants send their roots into the paths where they can still find moisture and space to grow.  The quieter months are a time to think about getting organised for next year, and our fabulous tool box got a proper sprucing and sort out.  It now looks so good we are a little afraid to use it and risk making a mess.  Other jobs included cutting down the finished hops, weeding and keeping all the brassica plants free from yellowing and trailing leaves which encourage slugs and snails to hide amongst them.

On Saturday the ‘Disco Soup’ event in Radnor Park happened.  Morrisons donated large crates of root vegetables and leeks – ideal soup making ingredients for such an occasion.  The Hythe gleaners brought potatoes, squashes and apples, then with plenty of herbs, plus lots of pairs of willing hands, some amazing tasty soups, stews, crumbles and jars of pickles were created all with a party atmosphere helped along by the DJ adding the disco sounds.  It was a fabulous day, good food and great company, what more could you want?

What’s next?

  • Get those trees planted in the parks and start process of creating mulched bases
  • Keep clearing and composting the fallen leaves
  • Clear the bolted herbs
  • Bag up more compost
  • Few more onions to plant?