Sandgate Community Garden: Update 10 March 2024

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 10th March: Spring flowers are in full bloom and the daffodils are out.

It feels like spring has been such a very long time coming, but with none of our gardening sessions cancelled due to bad weather this past week, we are beginning to think that spring may at last be just around the corner.  Apparently this winter has been the fourth wettest, and the second warmest since records began.  February was the warmest and wettest on record, 0.6 degrees centigrade warmer than 1990. 

Our spring flowers are in full bloom; the daffodils are out, the early pulmonaria is flowering beautifully, as are the first of the broad beans and all of a sudden the purple sprouting started to show their edible blooms in the very centre or crown of the plants.  We have been watching our purple sprouting broccoli for some months now, looking forward to this time when we can anticipate picking the very first flower heads, and so it seems have the local pigeons.  Having not long said that a few of the plants had been nibbled around the edges but that was all, it seems they have become bolder or is it more desperate, and have decided to really have a go and have stripped several plants of their leaves. 

The daffodils around the plot, either in the ground or in the pots or containers have greatly increased in number over the past couple of years, so much so that it might be a good idea to divide them and replant so that they will not be taking up too much room.  One of our major tasks this week was to start to get to grips with the sycamore seedlings and yet more of the wild garlic.  We set about doing just that but after an hour or so of weeding, you would be forgiven for having lost the will to live and find you are in need of tackling something else – we suspect it will take some time to clear them and so the job will remain on the ‘to do’ list for a while yet. 

The hops are just starting to emerge from their slumber and show themselves above ground.  We will soon have to divide them too as they are also becoming too large, and splitting them will hopefully rejuvenate them.  Also seen emerging has been a good number of ladybirds.  They are so brightly coloured that they are easy to spot on the fresh green leaves of the celeriac and the duller green of the sage. 

No missed sessions has meant that we are practically up to date with our seed sowing.  We have now sown the tomatoes and various varieties of lettuce as well as some aubergines, sweet peppers and chillies for the newly constructed wheelchair accessible greenhouse at Pent Farm.

Now is the time when we are reminded of where certain crops were growing last year as any rogue potatoes left uncollected in the plots have decided to show themselves by sprouting lots of new leaves above ground, and the same with the parsnips. It seems no matter how hard you try to collect the entire crop; some of the blighters still like to tease.

What’s Next?

  • Probably need to transplant some seedlings
  • Keep hoeing those sycamore seedlings
  • Start staking the broad beans
  • Keep checking the broccoli netting

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.