Sandgate Community Garden: Update 25 February 2024

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 25th February: There has been far too much weather going on this week.

There has been far too much weather going on this week to be able to get on with tasks that need doing.  The rain has been the main feature and the session for Wednesday had to be cancelled. It is all too easy to be negative about so much rain and probably need to reflect on how much our Napier Barracks volunteers appreciate these rainy days because it makes the land so very green and lush.  We have been collecting rainwater from all the structures at Pent Farm over the winter and have now accumulated nearly 12,000 litres for the growing plot there.  Last year we had just 8,000 litres to get us through the driest months of the year which luckily was not too hot and dry.  Hopefully we might be able to manage this summer with what we have; time will tell.

The main activity was going to be seed sowing this week, but not having any shelter in the garden at Enbrook Park means that the slightest gust of wind can blow away a packet of seeds or if dropped they get lost amongst the wood chips.  Therefore it is beneficial to be patient and wait for the right conditions which luckily happened on Saturday morning.  Finally the sun made a brief appearance and quite a few of us sped up to the plot to get on with putting those seeds in their seed trays at last.  We sowed radishes, peas for pea shoots, cauliflowers, and two types of early cabbages, three lettuce varieties, spring onions and spinach. 

There were spring onions to pick, some kale, chard, winter lettuce, parsley and mustard leaves.  There was a good patch of mustard a few days ago until the pigeons found them and made short work of the leaves.  They have had a good go at getting some of the purple sprouting leaves poking out of the raised netting, but luckily they have not dared to go under the netting any further.

In just one short week, the sycamore seedlings which were just appearing and starting to unfurl have now turned into fully fledged upright pesky blighters which will need dealing with soon if we are not to be hosting an entire new sycamore forest any time soon.  Let us hope we will get the opportunity to sort them out this coming week, weather permitting although at the moment it is not looking brilliant on the weather app.  However, to counteract those seedlings we are not wishing to encourage, it was a joy to see many self-sown nasturtium seedlings popping up.  Perhaps if sycamore seedlings were edible we might feel a little more positive about them.

What’s next?

  • More seed sowing
  • Get hoeing the sycamore seedlings!
  • Get some pond weed for the Pent Farm pond from the Enbrook pond
  • Move some of the nasturtium seedlings

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.