Sandgate Community Garden

Contact Leonie: 07840 138308 or

Regular Updates from the Sandgate Community Garden, a volunteer project in the Enbrook Park grounds of Saga.

New volunteers are always welcome, and the crops grown are shared by and with the community of gardeners.

The Community Garden team are also involved in other projects around Sandgate and Folkestone, including “Incredible Edible” planters by the Golden Valley shops, in Fremantle Road Park, on Sandgate High Street and Sandgate Esplanade.

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Updates written by Leonie Wootton.

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 13 December 2020

The flat wheelbarrow tyre got fixed with a new inner tube and is up and running again, able to trundle yet more wood chips and compost around the garden. We still have mulching to do in various places, and by Christmas with any luck, the whole of the garden will have been covered in some sort of mulch. The squirrels have been making their own mulch from spent acorns from the small oak tree within the garden. Having eaten the ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 6 December 2020

We had another message from our fleece supplier to say that there will be yet more delays to it being delivered and without a reason why – perhaps as with the situation with the shortage of seeds this year with so many people growing whilst in lockdown, there is now a national shortage of fleece!  Who knows? We have had some interesting weather this week and spent time having to put back covers over plants, and discovered that one of ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 29 November 2020

The celeriac seems to have gone down very well with all the volunteers, and various soup recipes have been exchanged, just the comfort food for the cooler weather – we shall definitely be growing that again next year! Not frosty or cold enough for the parsnips yet. They sweeten up with a good dose of frost, even so, being tucked up deep in the earth it is always a surprise how they are until they get dug up, you never ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 22 November 2020

The last sowings of Broad beans have now been planted and are already starting to romp away, a little disconcerting for the end of November. It is still not too late to sow or plant broad beans, or garlic if you fancy giving it a go. The autumn peas were planted too. Some of them will be for pea pods, the others for early pea shoots. Never good to sow peas direct as they often attract rodents and get dug ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 15 November 2020

There are still some people who are yet to find us in Enbrook Park, and it can be quite lengthy to explain exactly where we are too! However, not any more as we have appeared on the maps at the entrances of the park – so there is no excuse, we are on the map! Again this week we have been very busy clearing beds and fallen leaves, putting down new compost and paths, and planting broad beans. The fleece ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 8 November 2020

Such a contrast to the weather in the last few newsletters, this week we have had some beautiful sunny and warm weather, encouraging more gardeners to get to the garden and make the most of it, especially as we are now in another lockdown. However this one is very different to the first where we could only work on our own – this time we can follow community garden rules for food gardens, which explain in detail how we can ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 1 November 2020

As we are heading into November & with shorter and cooler days now our bees are safely beginning to cluster for warmth in their hives. We have been seeing the last of the Ivy flowers and with temperatures now below 18 DegC the start of the winter formation ensues with a loose cluster of bees which gets tighter as the temps drop further. They behave like penguins in the Antarctic & switch positions to ensure that the outside layer of ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 25 October 2020

The clocks have gone back this Saturday. Daylight hours are reducing fast as time goes on, but there is an abundance of free food out there if you are a forager, and apparently this year is a ‘mast year’ which is a superabundance that occurs every five to ten years. The trees synchronise their most productive years, giving so much fruit and nuts that the animals can never eat them all, and there is the best chance for new saplings ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 18 October 2020

Both the garlic and the elephant garlic got planted this week, and still time to plant more, as well as broad beans which could happen next week. All the garlic had been saved from last year. The biggest job of the week was to turn out all of the compost bins, move and then repack them. It is always a good opportunity to see if the compost is too dry or too wet, and to make adjustments. Fallen leaves get ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 11 October 2020

Surprisingly fine sunny weather for both of our gardening sessions this week, which meant we were able to start to get to grips with making our changes to the plot over the winter. We are following the ‘rule of six’, and are taking it in turns to come along, with some taking a half shift so that somebody else can visit later. The rain has filled up the pond in no time at all, and with the pond plants, is ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 4 October 2020

The Folkestone Docker Brewers, having made the ‘green’ brew from the Hythe scheme hops, thought to complete the hop cycle of life by bringing the spent hops back to the garden and putting them on one of our compost heaps. When having aged appropriately, the compost will be applied back onto the garden, perhaps onto the hops themselves. This week we were able to work on the garden Wednesday morning, but Saturday was a complete wash out, with persistent rain, ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 27 September 2020

This week has certainly seen a significant change in the weather which has also triggered a clearing of some of the summer planting and in with more winter and spring veg. The watering can did not get a look in this week as the showers and drop in temperature took a hold, and will do for much of the foreseeable weather charts. The tomatoes would struggle to ripen, and the winter squashes would not benefit from the cold and damp ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 20 September 2020

Now that the days are getting shorter, it is beginning to feel a little autumnal, and thoughts are turning to the last sowings of the year, harvesting and clearing away the summer crops, then getting all set for the winter months. However the weather keeps trying to hang on to the summer and we are still watering and watering when you might hope we would get some respite. It has been noted that the next time we plant the squashes ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 13 September 2020

Below is a summary from Ray, our resident beekeeper, of the two hives we have in the Community Garden. “A memorable year! As for the bees in the SAGA garden – a good year now comprising of 2 new honeybee colonies, a new local beekeeper now with a colony (Chris) but not one that has yielded any honey from our garden! In summary – a small colony overwintered in Whittersham near Rye and right near the lead singer of Keane’s ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 6 September 2020

Very excited this week to be picking our hops for the great Hythe Hops weigh in. The first of the ripe hops had to be picked on the same day and taken to a collection point. The next hop picking day for any hop plants in the scheme that were not ready, are to be picked in two weeks. We started late morning once the hops were dry from any morning dew, and it took three of us two hours ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 30 August 2020

The high winds continued to run their course at the start of this week, and so we have found the answer to our question about the viability of growing runner beans on the site – a big fat no, when for the second summer they were destroyed by the high winds in spite of all measures to protect them. So it will be dwarf beans or nothing from now on. A few beans are still standing, but looking very sad ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 23 August 2020

It has been a week of highs and lows. We are able to harvest quite a range of things each week, and are now fortunate to have regular visitors coming by to pick up seasonal and local veg, or just to see what is going on. We had the first of the celery this week. Most of the vegetables you grow yourself are a world away from commercially grown crops. They have real flavour, but where growing conditions are not ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 16 August 2020

It has been a very busy week, coping with the weather, watering new plants as well as the thirsty usual. Some of the gardeners had a glut of plums and greengages, which others were happy to make into Jam for sharing, thank you Theresa and Peter! Many of the squash and courgette plant leaves had mildew which makes the plants look pretty bad, but is in fact nothing to worry about, and does not harm any of the fruits. We ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 9 August 2020

Far too scorchio for us this week, it has been a struggle to hand water the plot, and to water it well enough. The brassicas have been checked again and again for pesky caterpillars or eggs, which means crawling around on all fours peering at small plants, but very necessary. The endives and lettuces got planted, as did Chinese cabbages and a few Romanesco, squeezed into the last available space. The runner beans are now showing plenty of flower and ...
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Sandgate Community Garden: Update 2 August 2020

The problem with covering up the brassicas with mesh is that you become complacent and think to yourself that no harm will come to those plants nestled in there, until you take a look one day and discover that they were placed inside the covering with butterfly eggs already hiding on them, and not carefully checked so that all the leaves on several plants had disappeared, and the caterpillars are marching with speed towards the rest of the plants!  There ...
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