Sandgate Community Garden Update

Sunday 29th November

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 know how well they have grown or if they have suffered from canker.  We had a sneaky peek at the tops of a few of them but are saving them for Christmas – something to look forward to!  The slow grow coriander is also going down well and appreciated – such good flavour compared with the ‘soapy’ taste from the supermarket.  Mixed with carrots in a soup, or added to a curry or stir fry, it gives a certain amazingness!   

Talking of amazing, Chris, one of our gardeners, and partner Suzy, have been getting some lockdown exercise every day by barrowing six loads of wood chips each, all the way up to the garden and laid down on the paths.  It is all looking neat and tidy, and they are benefiting from the fresh air and workout too!  No lockdown bellies for those two!

It was only mentioned last week that it is never a good idea to directly sow peas as the rodents find them in no time and make a meal out of them.  It seems they found where they and the last broad bean sowings were growing inside their modules, up off the ground and seemingly in a safe place – but no!  They were found, dug up and eaten!  Rodents must be able to sniff them out at a distance.  If we can get them to a certain point of growth, then they have made it and can be planted out safely – it is just getting to that stage.

Some things we will go out of our way to feed.  We put up some bird feeders this week, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the local bird population to realise they are there.  The feeders did not need refilling on Saturday, but apparently a couple of birds were spotted having a look at them earlier on in the morning.  As time goes on, there is less for them to find in the garden and so we need to help them now. 

We had a request from the Parish Council to take on a couple of planters on the seafront which could do with a bit of TLC.  Inspired by last week’s seminar on Kent’s Plan Bee and what could be done to support insect life, we opted for some hardy flowering perennials, and some spring flowering bulbs.  The planters do not look like much at the moment, but will be added to and changed over the seasons to give as much flower that bees like as we can cram in there.  It is work in progress for now.  

What’s next?

If there is any chance the fleece turns up, then we will be busy laying that down!

More wood chips to bring up to the garden

Will the bird feeders need a refill?

Still more plots to put compost down

Compost needs putting down on the plants up against the wall

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