Sandgate Community Garden: Update 4 February 2024

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 4th February: Taming the wild garlic and thinning the strawberries.

It has remained dry going into February, and a little milder although with a wind chill it is sometimes difficult to believe that.  The rainfall for January was a mere 45.9 mm, the driest month since last June.  It has given a chance for some of the waterlogged areas to dry out a little.  Not much around in the way of sunlight, but the daylight hours are increasing and it is still light at around 4.45pm.

The park is certainly showing signs of waking up, some of the daffodils have emerged and are flowering (none in the community garden in flower as yet, but still pushing through the ground with the bluebells), and there are some fabulous displays of snowdrops to be seen.  They really cheer you up and make you appreciate the season is at last turning towards spring.  Yet we know not to get too excited as things can dramatically change in a matter of days.

We got to grips with several of our tasks this week.  The mint which escaped from the base of a large pot and into the ground some time ago has been romping away in the compost to the point that it got itself noticed and got a good thinning to make sure it did not have the chance to take over.  Several pieces were planted in pots as part of our stock of spare plants.  The wild garlic has continued to appear in lots of places around the plot, and it has taken some time to tame it and get it back to where we are happy for it to be, but there is yet more to remove!  A happy hour or two was spent removing wayward strawberry plants crowding out the gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes which mean that there is now good access to the shrubs so that they can be pruned.  

The last of the leeks were lifted, and compost put down as mulch on the empty bed.  We are now getting close to being ready for the first seed sowing of the year, not this week, but next – always close to St. Valentine’s Day, although if the weather turns cold again then it will be delayed, so our fingers are crossed that we get an early start.

We have got our seed potatoes already and have them indoors so that their shoots can develop, known as ‘chitting’.  As usual, we have gone for early varieties, and they will not be planted until March.  Now that many of the beds are empty we can plan where all the first seedlings will be planted in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately there will not be a newsletter next week, however we will be back the following week hopefully with news of how we got on with the first sowings – of course that is if the weather is on our side!

What’s next?

  • Still need to cut back the dead nettle and the feverfew
  • Finish the strawberry job
  • Remove more of the wild garlic
  • Start work on the gooseberries

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.