Sandgate Community Garden: Update 28 April 2024

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 28th April: The wet and cold has been perfect for the slug and snail population.

How can it be possible that we will be in the month of May in a few days?  It managed to get even colder during the nights this past week, and it was not until the weekend that temperatures have improved a little but brought rain again. It will be good to be warmer, but it is the sunshine we really need to get the plants growing.  The wet and cold has been perfect for the slug and snail population, making short work of most of the calabrese, peas and cabbages.  Luckily we had a few spare plants, and having a network of other growers means that we can swap seedlings and hopefully help each other out if things fail.

Talking of friends, the ‘Friends of Napier barracks’ helped us out this week by bringing some volunteers to Fremantle Park to help start to clear the small orchard there.  It has been so very wet at the park this winter that it is still impossible to cut the grass there and our growing areas are also saturated making it difficult to do much there.  However the plants and especially the weeds are taking over.  We have our work cut out to make it presentable, but we have made a start.

We pricked out yet more seedlings this week so that the two greenhouses at Pent farm are full to bursting!  More courgettes and squashes got sown to replace those eaten by a rogue mouse, and we even decided to sow some sweetcorn, thinking that we might well give it a try again this year despite the badgers.  It was feared that some of the seeds not eaten by rodents might have rotted in their pots before they had a chance to sprout but we were pleased to see just this past couple of days that many have indeed survived and are just starting to appear.

Most of the rhubarb has been growing well, but a couple of them have started to produce flowers already which is not a good thing when it comes to the production of rhubarb stalks, and so they were quickly removed before they got any bigger.  Most of the flowers we are of course delighted to see within the garden however it seems we are inundated by bluebells this year, many of which we shall have to remove just as soon as they are finished.  Happily they are not English bluebells but of the Spanish variety.  Nice to see them but they are taking up precious space.  Other flowers in full bloom this week are the calendulas, honeywort or cerinthe, and borage.  The lovely bright green of the oregano leaves makes for a good display too, and we are amazed at how fast the hops are starting to romp their way up the strings and supports.

What’s next?

  • There are still beds to clear and compost to put down
  • There is lots of lemon balm to remove
  • Last push to get out all the sycamore seedlings
  • Might be time to take out the purple sprouting

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.