Dig day Saturday 21 November

Posted: November 26, 2015

Despite yesterday’s dig day coincided with first really cold day of the season, we harvested a surprising amount of produce – celeriac, kohlrabi, lettuce, radieshes cabbage, turnips, cavolo nero and a parsnip which we dug up by accident!

We cut back the brambles which grow through the fence where the garden borders the railway track. There was even one that had sneaked into the polytunnel.

We weeded the asparagus bed and the large bed with carrots, parsnips, spinach and beetroot in it. The marigolds have done their bit now so we pulled them out to give the veg more space to grow. We also pulled up all the radishes and transplanted some of the parsnips into the space we made.

We also pulled up the rest of the beans, saving any in the pods that were left to plant next year. We left the roots in the ground to put nitrogen back into the soil. We pulled down the cane structures that had been supporting the tomatoes and beans.



Clearing the bed

Clearing the bed







Dig Day Saturday 7 November

Posted: November 18, 2015

We had a briefer dig day due to rainy and blustery weather. We did a bit of tidying around the garden and raked up more leaves for our compost.

We harvested our chinese artichokes and were surprised to see how much of it we have! Despite looking like grubs they were actually quite nice, kind of like radishes.

Some of our freshly harvested chinese artichokes

Some of our freshly harvested chinese artichokes

We also harvested some of our lettuce, which is doing remarkably well and avoiding being eaten by slugs.

Next dig day on Saturday 7 November from 1 – 3 pm

Posted: November 2, 2015

Dear fellow Gardeners

And so we head into winter for real, as the clocks have gone back and the dark nights draw in.  Our last dig was on Saturday 24 October, during which we had a tidy up and harvested as well.  We weeded and tidied up beds and raked in huge piles of leaves to be deposited on the compost heap, as well as dancing on them to pack them well in!  We harvested Cavolo Nero, Lettuce, Spinach, Squash and Purple Runner Beans to round off a productive day.

As winter has arrived, so we move to once every two weeks for digging.  Our next dig day is on Saturday 7 November from 1 – 3 pm and we will do some more weeding and tidying up of the gardens, as well as planting Garlic and Broad Beans.  We hope to see you then.

All the best for now,


The Community Gardeners


Dancing on the leavesCavolo nero, Spinach, Squash and Runner BeansSquashPurple runner beansLettuces

Reminder – no dig tomorrow

Posted: October 30, 2015

Now that the clocks have changed our dig days are every fortnight.

There’s no dig tomorrow 31 October, but we’ll be back in the garden next week.


Dig day Saturday 17 October

Posted: October 18, 2015

We had a quiet day in the garden yesterday but did manage to weed the celeriac bed and tidy the shed!

Next week, we’ll do more weeding and gather up some leaves for our compost heap.

Dig Day Saturday 10 October

Posted: October 12, 2015

We focused on neatening up the garden at our dig last Saturday. Plenty of rain meant we had lots of weeding to do, yet again, so we made a start by tackling a couple of beds plus a section of the fruit cage.

We discovered a few potatoes during the weeding in one of the beds!

Doing the weeding

Doing the weeding

Our tomatoes seemed to get blight, and we’d dug several of our plants up over the last few weeks. Last Saturday we dug up the last ones from the front of our garden.

We dug over the whole bed, which our leeks are growing nicely in, to neaten it up. We also cut through the grass and weeds that had grown up around the front of the garden – so hopefully now it’s easier for people to actually see into the garden and have a look at what we are growing!

We cut back our bean plants that had finished producing for the year, but we left the roots in the ground as instructed by Monty Don so that the nutrients can go back into the soil.

We had a relatively small harvest compared with some weeks but everyone took away some potatoes, runner beans and green beans. We got a few raspberries from our fruit cage too.

Cutting back the weeds

Cutting back the weeds

This was only our second Saturday dig and we’re still testing it out to see if more people can make it.

Last week we had one gardener who came for the first time in years as she hasn’t been able to make Sundays. Another couple of gardeners have said they prefer Saturdays – and a couple have said they prefer Sundays!

If you have an opinion, let us know. We’ll be in the garden again this Saturday from 2-4pm.


Dig day Saturday 3 October

Posted: October 9, 2015

Last Saturday we cleared one of the beds and planted out some Cos lettuce which we’d started off in the polytunnel a few weeks ago. We also planted some chard straight into the groud in the same bed after we’d given it a good weeding and turning over. Hopefully this will give us some crops over autumn and winter.


Marking out the lines for the lettuce

Marking out the lines for the lettuce

Planting out lettuce

Planting out lettuce

We also pulled up the tomatoes in the mandala bed.

Clearing tomatoes

Clearing tomatoes

We harvested beans, tomatoes, spring onions and radishes. And we still have an enormous pumpkin in the shed ready to share out.




Dig Day Sunday 27 September

Posted: September 28, 2015

We had great weather for gardening last Sunday and we started to do a bit of clearing out in the garden. Unfortunately our tomatoes seem to be near the end of their productive life as many of the plants seem to have picked up a disease.

Our tomato harvest

Our tomato harvest

We harvested all the tomatoes we could, which was quite a lot, and left the very green ones in the hope they will be ok next week.

Sadie dug up some of the plants completely as the stems were beginning to rot, and we may have to pull up the rest next week.

Doing the watering

Doing the watering

Justin also cut back the squash plants, which had taken over a big part of the garden, and things look much tidier now we have got rid of the excess leaves. Tom did a great job in cutting back the raspberry plants in the fruit cage too. It’s much easier to see what we have now – and we have added to our compost heap!

We also did some watering and Imogen gave the bed with our carrots in a good weeding. We tied up our asparagus plants and harvested some beans, cabbages, kohlrabi and another squash.

ruskin weeding

Doing the weeding

From next weekend (3 October) we’ll be in the garden on Saturdays from 2-4pm. All gardeners, new and old, are welcome to pop in and give us a hand. And we are also planning our planting plan for the coming year. So if there are things you’d like to see growing in the garden, please let us know.

Harvest feast last Saturday

Posted: September 27, 2015

What a fabulous afternoon for last Saturday’s annual harvest feast! It was great to meet some new friends and see some old faces too.


Some of the food at the harvest feast

Some of the food at the harvest feast

Special thanks to all the gardeners who prepared dishes from our vegetables and herbs. We had some delicious dishes to share, including warm pumpkin soup.

Man with camping stove

Justin heating up soup

Special thanks also to Capital Growth for visiting us.

We hope to see some new faces in the garden this afternoon – we’ll be there from 2 to 4pm.

As of next week, we’ll be gardening on Saturdays. Sign up to our email alerts to be kept posted.

Harvest feast Saturday 19 September

Posted: September 15, 2015

Join us on Saturday from 3 to 5pm for our annual harvest feast.

Some of the gardeners will be preparing dishes made from our produce, so come along and try some!

We’ll be in garden as part of Capital Growth’s edible open garden’s day so come in for a chat and find out what we do. We’ll also have a few jars of local honey for sale.

Last Sunday we weeded the beds and harvested lots of vegetables to prepare for the feast.



Dig day Sunday 6 September 2015

Posted: September 10, 2015

Last Sunday was such a lovely day to be in the garden that a few of us ended up staying quite a while. We weeded some of the beds – the recent rain meant that the weeds were growing everywhere. We cut back and tied up the tomatoes to stop them drooping on the floor and rotting – a job that needs doing every week at this time of year.


We also repotted the cos lettuce we have growing in the polytunnel into bigger pots to strengthen the roots before we plant them out in the ground.

We harvested beans, tomatoes, spring onion, chives, shallots, Savoy cabbage, the last of the beetroot and a lonely turnip we found.  We also have another huge pumpkin which we left for next week (tomato for scale).


Next week we’ll be doing some  more weeding and planting some seeds to see us through winter.

Sunday will be our last dig before our harvest feast on Saturday 19 September.  If you’d like to prepare something for the feast please come along on Sunday to collect some of the harvest.








Dig Day 30 August 2015

Posted: September 1, 2015

One of our enormous squashes grown recently in the garden

One of our enormous squashes grown recently in the garden

We had a great harvest at our dig day last Sunday. We harvested lots of our tomatoes, some runner beans, a few green beans, a couple of potatoes, a couple of cabbages, a bit of cavelo nero and some rhubarb. We also took a knife to one of our huge pumpkins that were harvested a few weeks ago and divided it up among the gardeners who were there at the time.

We have been a little quiet in the garden over the last few weeks and many people will have been on holiday. This isn’t very unusual for us. But there is always lots to do and it’s great to see new faces.

Last Sunday we gave a couple of the beds a good weeding. The combination of warm weather plus plenty of rain meant they had shot up! We trimmed back some of the leaves on our tomato plants as they had also grown enormously and it was getting a bit hard to see all the tomatoes for the leaves!

We strengthened some of the structures for them and added new ones, to try and stop them lying on the ground and becoming easy prey for birds and squirrels. Although it was nice to have a visit from our regular robin during the dig.

Some of our tomatoes and beans harvested during last week's dig

Some of our tomatoes and beans harvested during last week’s dig

Next week we’ll be continuing the weeding, harvesting more crops and possibly planting more seeds so we have a regular supply of produce as we go into autumn. We’ll also be discussing more about our upcoming Harvest Feast – which is on Saturday 19 September between 3pm and 5pm.

Our plan is for gardeners to volunteer to make a few things using produce from the garden. If you have ideas about things you’d like to make, please get in touch or chat to us at the dig.

One of our regular visitors

One of our regular visitors

Dig day Sunday 26 July

Posted: July 28, 2015

The bad weather put everyone off this week – there were no volunteers in the garden!

Paula spent some time cutting back the tree over the water trough and the blackberries near the railway line. Some of the blackberries are already ripe!



Dig Day Sunday 19 July

Posted: July 23, 2015

We had a record turnout in the garden last Sunday – 11 volunteers came to help! We were glad to welcome lots of new faces and the big numbers meant we got a lot done.

Watering the cabbages in the fruit cage

Watering the cabbages in the fruit cage

We weeded pretty much every bed in the garden and gave everything a really good water. We also fed our crops with some fertiliser from our wormery.

We cleared out the herb boxes next to our bees and planted new herbs in them, including basil.

We had a big harvest – including some potatoes, beetroot, turnips, shallots, garlic, radishes and chard. And clearing a little space meant we could also plant a bit more, so we planted some spinach where our turnips had been. We also planted some more radishes and onions in the bed where the chard had been.

Planting some spinach seeds

Planting some spinach seeds

We cut back the gooseberry bushes a little and also the tree so we can get to our water a little easier!

Thanks to everyone who came and it was great to see so many new faces. We will be there again this Sunday from 2 til 4pm.

Dig Day Sunday 12 July

Posted: July 18, 2015

Last Sunday we planted out some purple sprouting broccoli, squash and celeriac. We also created a tepee for the tomatoes on the mandala bed and strung them up.
We harvested garlic, turnips, beetroot, potatoes, chard, spring onions, radishes, rhubarb and a few raspberries.

Dig Day Sunday 5 July

Posted: July 12, 2015

We had a quiet day in the garden last Sunday but did tie up the tomato plants so they weren’t falling on the ground. There’s plenty of green tomatoes already and lots more flowers, so it looks like we’ll have a really good crop this year.

We gave everything a really good water – a job that takes a couple of hours at this time of year.

We harvested a few more lettuces and planted some more seeds in the same place in the fruit cage. We also planted a few spinach seeds in the last empty section of the mandala bed.

We also harvested beetroot, spring onions, garlic and chard.



Dig day Saturday 27 June

Posted: June 28, 2015

We had a brilliant afternoon at the Ruskin Park Summer Fete on Saturday. We didn’t get a lot of gardening done because we were busy chatting to lots of people! Hopefully we encouraged some more gardeners to join our group.

Lots of people were interested in our bees, and our beekeeper Sharon was there to answer their questions.

We did manage to plant some radishes and lettuces.

We had a good harvest of chard, garlic, spring onions, turnips, lettuce, raspberries, redcurrants and gooseberries.











Dig Day Sunday 21 June 2015

Posted: June 25, 2015

We had plenty of gardeners on Sunday which meant we gave the garden a good weeding – something we need to do regularly through the summer months.



We dug a trench around the asparagus bed to keep the grass out of the bed, weeded it and tied the stalks up to longer canes. Only another 3 year to wait before we can harvest the crop!

Digging a trench round the asparagus bed

Digging a trench round the asparagus bed

We thinned out the carrots and turnips and planted some kohlrabi.

Unfortunately the broad beans weren’t doing very well and we had to pull most of them up.

We harvested potatoes, lettuce, broad beans, radishes, some tiny turnips and raspberries.

Today's harvest

Dig Day Sunday 14 June

Posted: June 17, 2015

With the help of a new volunteer we weeded many of the beds, which were in real need of attention! They look much better now. We also watered everything and had quite a good harvest – including gooseberries, radishes, lettuce, rhubarb and a few broad beans.

In future digs we will be thinning out our root veg and planting more seedlings in the polytunnel. And if volunteers have raw vegetable scraps that could feed our worms, please feel free to bring them!

Dig Day Sunday 7 June

Posted: June 13, 2015

We got lots done at the dig day last Sunday. We planted out our leeks in the display bed and also planted out our squash plants.

We planted horseradish plants in our new bed as they looked a bit uncomfortable in their pots! Joe dug trenches around the beds to neaten them up and protect our plants from weeds and grass.

We were joined by a sociologist doing some research into community gardens, and he helped us weed the beds.

We cut back weeds at the front of the garden and gave everything a good water – which takes some time these days. We also put more canes with our tomato plants to give them more support and strengthened the supports for our broad beans.

We also had a little harvest! Volunteers took home some broad beans, radishes, mazuma mustard leaves and gooseberries.

Dig Day Sunday 31 May

Posted: June 3, 2015

We missed the downpour on Sunday but a few of us came along and planted out the last of the tomatoes.  Tom dug a trench around the mandala bed where we planted them to stop the grass encroaching.
Planting tomatoes

Planting tomatoes

Watering and digging a trench

Watering and digging a trench

Planted tomatoes

Planted tomatoes

We also secured some of the netting which was coming away from the beds.

We harvested the first of the broad beans and some lettuce!

Broad beans

The first of the broad beans!

Next Sunday we’ll be joined by a sociologist who is  writing a book about community gardens in London and Berlin and wants to chat to some of the gardeners.

Bees find a new home in our garden

Posted: May 26, 2015

The Sunday before last we found a swarm of bees near our shed when we went to open up for our dig day. We called Sharon, our beekeeper, who came down straight away. The bees had come from outside looking for a new home. Sharon gave them a new hive and they have settled in well. We’re very happy they chose to come and live in our garden. We now have 2 full hives.

Beekeepers in action

Beekeepers in action

We had a delayed start due to the bees but still got lots done. We planted some pumpkin seedlings and finally got round to weeding the last bed in the fruit cage.

Planting pumpkin seedlings

Planting pumpkin seedlings

We also built some structures to support the tomatoes which we planted out.

Beth & Joe work on the tomato structureTomatoes go out


Dig Day Sunday 10 May

Posted: May 12, 2015

We had a great day in the very sunny garden last Sunday. Along with many regular gardeners we had a new volunteer helping out.

We planted swiss chard, celeriac and red onions out into the beds from seedlings. We also planted parsnip and radish seeds directly into the beds.

Planting celeriac

Planting some celeriac

In the polytunnel we sowed some squash seeds and gave everything a good water.

We put a few French marigolds into some of the beds as they are good for protecting against diseases and bugs. We also did some weeding, watering and general tidying, and made a new structure with netting to protect our newly planted seeds and crops.

Gardeners make a net structure to protect crops

Gardeners make a net structure to protect our crops








Next week we hope to finally finish clearing out the fruit cage and tidy up the beds. We will also need to make new structures for our tomato plants, which hopefully can be planted out from the polytunnel later in the month.

All gardeners welcome to join us!

Dig day Sunday 3 May

Posted: May 7, 2015

We had another busy day in the garden last Sunday and welcomed a couple of new gardeners to our group.

We clearing the demonstration bed at the front of the garden and dug it over.

We also planted out some purple sprouting broccoli next to the cauliflowers. We spread mulch over the bed to suppress the weeds and covered the bed with netting, as the caulis were already showing signs of being eaten.

We build another cane structure to support more beans and planted out the seedlings that had been growing in the polytunnel.

Creating support for the green beans

Creating support for the green beans

We pulled up all the chard that’s been growing since last year and we all took home a huge bunch. If anyone has any good chard recipes please let us know!






Dig Day Sunday 26 April 2015

Posted: April 29, 2015

Robin on the scarecrow

Cheeky robin on Justin the Scarecrow

We had a great turnout on Sunday and got lots of jobs done. The garden is looking fantastic!

We weeded the herb bed, garlic, and the border with the apple trees and oregano. We also cleared the mandala bed and a couple of other beds, ready for planting out some seedlings next Sunday.

Weeding the garlic

Meeling weeding the garlic

Weeded garlic

Weeded garlic

Mandala bed unweeded

Mandala bed unweeded

Weeded mandala bed

Mandala bed after weeding

We repotted the cucumbers into larger pots in the polytunnel.

Outside, we planted some cauliflowers and potatoes into the prepared beds.

We planted green beans in the bed where we’d already built a cane structure to support them. We have some kohlrabi already in the same bed.

We also sowed some carrot seeds and covered the bed with netting to stop the birds from eating the seeds.


Covering a bed with netting

Tom and Jean pretend to be fishermen

We harvested the last of the chard – next week we’ll take it out as it’s starting to flower.


Dig Day Sunday 12 April

Posted: April 15, 2015

We got lots done in the garden on the dig day last Sunday. Jean and Tom helped clearing out more of the fruit cage and adding compost to help the fruit trees grow.

We transplanted the loganberry tree outside the fruit cage where it can grow alongside the fencing. We also planted more kohlrabi plants in the border along with some lettuce.

We dug over the border next to our polytunnel, weeded and gave everything a good watering.

We also dug up rogue potatoes and put them in their proper bed, and moved two broad bean plants to a bed where overwintering broad bean plants are already growing.

We dug over a bed to give it a good weeding but ran out of time to plant the parsnips and turnips that are due to go in there! Hopefully we will get that done this week.

Now the weather is getting warmer there will be lots more to do – so everyone is welcome to join us at our next dig, this Sunday from 2-4pm.

Big Dig Day Saturday 21 March 2015

Posted: March 17, 2015

Get digging this Saturday as part of the Big Dig Day.

Grow food, make friends and learn how to garden.
Or just come along to see what we do.

Everyone is welcome, whatever commitment you can give.

Dig day, 22 February 2015

Posted: March 3, 2015

We made a good start on planting the seeds for this year’s harvest at our last dig of February.

Planting up some seeds at Ruskin Park

Planting up some seeds at Ruskin Park








Until we were forced to abandon the dig due to rain we planted brussels sprouts, spinach, calabrese, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage and lettuce in pots and put them in the polytunnel. We will be watering them regularly and keeping a close eye on the seedlings until it is warm enough to plant them outside.

Seeds safely installed in our polytunnel

Seeds safely installed in our polytunnel








We also planted out some more broad beans into one of the beds. And we were pleased to see that our garlic has started to grow! Next time (Sunday 8 March) we’ll be planting many more seeds, including tomatoes, in the polytunnel. We’ll also be planting some parsnips out in the garden – hope you can join us.


Dig Day, 8 February

Posted: February 8, 2015

It was a beautiful nearly spring like day in the garden. The broad beans and spinach are looking good and the daffodils are coming up. We weeded the mandala bed. 20150208_132228_resized



Dig day, 25 January

Posted: February 2, 2015

We got quite a bit done on our second dig of the year – despite the fact that the cold kept most people safely indoors! With a small number of us, we managed to get a few of the beds well weeded and turned over the soil in preparation for planting things. We also harvested a little chard.

We “chitted” our potatoes, putting them into egg boxes and plastic containers, and they are now safely in the polytunnel to start sprouting. A couple of weeks in a warm flat had already got them on their way!

In the coming weeks we’ll be planting more seeds to sprout in pots in the polytunnel so the pace will pick up a bit! Our next dig will be this Sunday, 8 February.


1st dig day of 2015

Posted: January 20, 2015

Sunday 11 January was the our 1st dig day of the year. The weather was cold and bright and we had a good turnout, with some of our regular gardeners and a couple of new faces too.

We cleared one of the beds, prepared it and planted garlic.


We planted a row of carrots in the same bed, although it might be a little early for them. The rest of the bed has onions in it – it’s best not to grow garlic and onions next to each other so the carrots will go in between them.


We also cleared and weeded some of the other beds.


We dug up some radishes, but they were pretty small!




We also harvested parsnips, and found some oyster mushrooms growing out the side of the herb bed in the Trees for Cities garden next door.



Dig day, 14 December

Posted: December 14, 2014

We had a lovely day in the low winter sun, ‘team weeding’ and setting the world to rights. Next dig day will be in January.

Dig day Sunday 30 November

Posted: December 11, 2014

We had a small team of gardeners on our last dig day, including a small gardener!

Ishmael helping with the digging

Ishmael helping with the digging

We finished digging trenches around the outside of the beds to protect the wood over winter.

We cleared out the runner beans and the frame, and weeded the bed where they’d been.  We also dug over some of the beds.

We planted some silverskin onions to over-winter and harvested parsnips and chard.

We also sorted out the seeds and made a list of what we need to buy.


Sadie planting onions

Sadie planting onions

Dig day, Sunday 16 November

Posted: November 26, 2014

Depsite a bit of rainy weather we had a good day in the garden. Around five volunteers came to help out. We added compost to our newest bed and dug small trenches around several beds in order to protect the wood over the winter.

While doing this we seemed to disturb a couple of frogs’ homes. The frogs distracted a couple of gardeners for a little while…

One of our new visitors during our dig on 16 November

One of our new visitors during our dig on 16 November















Justin got to dance on the compost in the name of making it more compact and so decompose more quickly!

Justin helping to push the compost together

Justin helping to push the compost together














We planted more broad beans in one of our beds towards the front of the garden for overwintering.

We also harvested lettuce, chard, spinach and even some mushrooms growing wild in the garden – which Jean assured us were safe to eat and proved it by eating a couple during our dig.

Some of the wild mushrooms growing in Ruskin Park community garden

Some of the wild mushrooms growing in Ruskin Park community garden

Dig Day Sunday 2nd November 2014

Posted: November 9, 2014

Despite the threat of rain it turned into a beautiful autumn afternoon with a good  turnout and some familar faces.

We put some more work into beefing up the compost heaps, especially with lots of leafy material. We also cleared out one of the compost heaps, adding nutrients to several of the beds, as well as giving the wooden structure of one of the compost sections a chance to dry out, which should keep it in good condition and minimise the chance that it becomes part of the compost itself.

It’s a good time of year  to take cuttings, so we took some from several plants, mainly the soft fruit, as well as some roses. We may use these for a plant sale next year to raise some funds for the garden.

We gave the fruit cages have had a good clear-out, with lots of weeding.

We also took some of the last broad bean pods to dry out some beans for next year – these are now drying in the shed, and should be ready to go into the soil in the spring.

The mustard is coming up slowly but surely – hopefully this will give us some good ground cover over the winter (suppressing weeds), will fix some nitrogen into the soil, as well as giving us a nice leaf crop when there’s little else to be harvested in the garden.

In terms of harvest, we took a healthy crop of salad leaves as well as some chard (and one of two last raspberries).

Dig Day Sunday 26 October


We continued work on the new bed, digging in the grass that remained on the top.


We gathered more leaves to add to the compost heap, trampling them down to make the heap compact, and covered it with tarpaulin to keep it warm.

Adding to the compost

Adding to the compost

We dug up the marjoram that was growing in a couple of the vegetable beds and replanted it in between the apple trees.

Moving the marjoram plants

Moving the marjoram plants

While digging up the marjoram we found a few unexpected potatoes in the earth.


Our harvest this week as spinach, chard and lettuce.




Dig day time change: 1-3pm

Posted: October 24, 2014

From Sunday 26 October 2014 our dig days will be from 1-3pm.

We hope to see you there.

Dig Day 19 October 2014

Posted: October 22, 2014

Child being pusshed in a wheelbarrow

Garden transport for small people

We had an excellent turnout of volunteers in the garden last Sunday, including more new gardeners, which we’re always happy to see.

All of the steering committee were there, and we discussed some ideas for what to do with the garden in the coming year.

We made a start on digging a new bed. This meant moving a young apple tree from near the garden gate to the back near the fence.

We raked up leaves from the park as well as the garden to add to the compost.

Raking leaves and digging a new bed

Raking leaves and digging a new bed

We harvested the last of the squashes and pumpkins and then pulled up the plants.

Our harvest this week also included green beans, rainbow chard, spinach, lettuce, radishes and parsnip.

Bikes in the garden

Transport for bigger people

Dig Day Sunday 5 October

Posted: October 7, 2014

Runner bean harvest

Runner bean harvest

Fantastic weather for our first dig day of October, and a good turn-out meant we got through a lot of jobs.

We paid some attention to the compost heap this week – mixing it and pressing it down. We gave it as good a water as we were able by filling watering cans and the wheelbarrow, as the hose doesn’t quite reach it.

Since there were no fruit left on the tomatoes, we pulled up the rest of the plants, then spread compost over the beds. We’ll leave it for a week or two before digging it in.

We also removed the green beans and covered that bed with compost too.

We made a good start on clearing out the rubbish area, getting rid of broken pots and other damaged materials we don’t need. The garden is looking a lot neater.

We harvested some broccoli, spinach, chard, radishes and runner beans.





Sunday’s dig

Posted: September 29, 2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014
We had a great day in the garden last Sunday. It was really good to 
see some new faces as people came to help out who had come to our 
Harvest Feast the previous week.

We harvested all of the tomatoes available - including green ones 
for use in chutnies. We decided to leave the tomato plants in the 
ground for now to see if they produce any more fruit. Some still
had flowers on them which the bees were feeding on.

We harvested lots of runner beans, chard, spinach, borage and 
turnips - which were poking out of the ground!

Jean, Mary and Joe dug over the bed that cabbages are in to help 
them grow, and replanted them in the bed. We also gave the cabbages 
a new netting support to keep out birds and animals.

Prakash helped dig up the borage so we can give the beetroot, which 
is growing in the same bed, a bit more space.

We dug over some other beds and added compost to them. We also 
planted some more lettuce, some onions and some broad beans, along 
with doing the usual watering and weeding.
Gardeners dig over the cabbage bed

Gardeners dig over the cabbage bed


Gardeners dig up some turnips and weed the bed

Gardeners dig up some turnips and weed the bed



























Harvest Feast 2014

Posted: September 21, 2014

Our 4th annual Harvest Feast was a big success. Lots of new folks came and feasted, with many planning to come for a dig day in the coming weeks. Plenty of regulars as well, and the table was full of delicious community garden-grown veg. It is still a thrill to eat the veg in the spot where it was grown.
Sharon the beekeeper brought jars of honey from the garden bees. It tasted amazing – like roses and other flowers. We used it in a honey mustard salad dressing as well as on bread.
We feasted on potato gratin, salad with spinach, chard, apple, nasturtiums, mint and courgette, courgette and rice casserole, roasted squash, rosemary and cheese scones, chard tart, apple chutney, tomato chutney, runner beans, courgette salad, homemade bread, tomato bruschetta, and crabapple jelly tarts.
We raised £34 in donations which will cover seeds for next year, thanks very much for the generosity.
Mark planted some mustard, a green manure. It fixed nitrogen in the soil and keeps the weeds from taking over the bare soil.
We harvested courgettes, runner beans, and tomatoes to take home as they needed picking.
There are gluts this time of year, and you might be wondering how to use up the veg. Here are a few recipe ideas:
Spiced Pickled Runner Beans
Runner beans with bacon and hazelnuts
Courgette Rice Gratin
There’s no dig day today because of the feast yesterday. See you next Sunday, 3-5pm
If you’re a twitterer, please do follow us on https://twitter.com/GardenRuskin.






Harvest Feast – Saturday 4-6pm! All welcome!!

Posted: September 17, 2014

Please come along to our feast in the garden, featuring dishes made from veg we grew this year. We’ll be there from 3pm, doing final harvesting and cooking. Eating starts at 4pm.
Thanks very much to Trees for Cities who have offered their produce to the bounty.
It’s free, but would welcome a small donation to go for seeds for next year.
We’re part of Capital Growth’s Edible Gardens Open Day – http://www.capitalgrowth.org/events/opengardens/

Sunday’s dig


Sunday we harvested for the harvest feast, watered, and worked on next year’s planting plan. At the feast, we’ll have: potato gratin, runner beans, tomato bruschetta, lettuce tart, crabapple jelly tarts, roasted squash, and salad with dressing made using honey from our bees!
20140914_155608 20140914_155602
The planting plan is still being worked on, will have it ready in a week or two.

Dig day Sunday 31st August

Posted: September 3, 2014

It felt like summer again on Sunday – so much so that Sadie had to work in the shade so she didn’t get sunburnt!

While she was weeding the beetroot and fruit cage, the rest of us sorted out the netting. We covered the newly sprouting turnip, cabbage and lettuce to stop it getting nibbled. After rebuilding the netting support for the broccoli we managed to cover it all. It seems to be doing better after we covered it in netting last week. We’re going to leave the purple sprouting broccoli to over winter, in the hope that it will produce some stems next year.

We also tended to the tomatoes – again. Some small plants produce surprisingly large fruit, which droop onto the soil. These end up spoiling, so we harvested all the fruit that was on or near the soil, even if they were green, These tomatoes can either be left to ripen on a sunny windowsill (they will take a few weeks to ripen), fried green, or made into chutney. If anyone has a good recipe for green tomato chutney, please send us one.

We has another good harvest this week of tomatoes, runner beans, green beans, chard and spinach. There was no squash ready this week but plenty of flowers, so we’ll have some later on in the year – maybe for Hallowe’en?

Lettuce seedlings

Lettuce seedlings


Broccoli netting


Courgette flowers









Dig Day Sunday 24 August

Posted: August 25, 2014

We got lots of work done in the garden on Sunday. Justin gave the worms a feed and got plenty of nutrient-rich matter from them to feed the plants with.

We weeded the beds and gave everything a good water. Nicola and Prakash helped construct more support for the runner beans which had started to outgrow their frame a little.

Maureen planted some more beetroot as its growth was a little one-sided – although the leaves are coming up very quickly after planting the seeds just a few weeks ago.

Gary helped strengthen the tomato canes, which keep getting a battering from the wind.

We had some new faces helping out along with regular gardeners and got a big harvest – including spinach, chard, tomatoes, French beans, runner beans, three squash and a little purple sprouting broccoli.

We also found a few rogue potatoes while weeding the parsnip bed.


Maureen planting beetroot

Maureen planting beetroot














dig day_nicola

Nicola harvesting purple sprouting broccoli














dig day_harvest1

Sunday’s harvest



Posted: August 19, 2014

Despite the earlier downpour, Sunday afternoon turned out to be a beautiful sunny day in the garden with a good turn-out of gardeners.

We dug over some of the empty space where the beans had been cleared and planted some turnips and Savoy-type cabbages. We also planted a row of radishes at the bottom of the squashes.

We thinned out the lettuces and beetroot to give the rest a chance to grow. We also checked the tomato plants and tied up any that were being weighed down by their fruit. All of the beds were weeded.

We had a great harvest of tomatoes, runner and green beans, squash, spinach and rainbow chard.


Our harvest of leaves, tomatoes, beans and squash

Green bean

Green bean


Lettuce seedlings

Lettuce seedlings



Sunday’s dig

Posted: August 11, 2014

The harvest - potatoes, tomatoes, runner beans, french beans, spinach, chard

The harvest – potatoes, tomatoes, runner beans, french beans, spinach, chard

The harvest - tomatoes and squash

The harvest – tomatoes and squash

Sadie portioning the harvest

Sadie portioning the harvest

The french beans

The french beans

The lettuce seedlings

The lettuce seedlings

Sadie and the kids watering

Sadie and the kids watering



The sun shone (surprisingly) on a happy day in the garden. We weeded, as usual, staked and pruned tomatoes, planted lettuce seedlings, and cleared out beds with bolted chard and spinach. We harvested the first of the french beans, plus tomatoes, squash, runner beans, spinach, chard.

Last Sunday’s dig

Posted: August 8, 2014

Despite there only being 3 gardeners last Sunday, we got through some good jobs and managed to harvest some veg as well.

We planted some beetroot in the mandala bed, in between the tomatoes and the spinach. We also planted some winter lettuce at the end of the bed with the squashes. The lettuces should grow over winter and be ready to harvest in March next year. It’ll be great to be able to harvest something at a time of year when we’re mostly just planting.

We made sure any sagging tomato plants were tied up and watered everything.

We tomatoes, spinach, a few small carrots, runner beans, a squash, potatoes and some purple sprouting broccoli. There were some ripe blackberries but we thought we should wait for them to get a bit bigger before harvesting them, though I did try one and they are delicious!


Runner beans


Yesterday’s dig day

Posted: July 28, 2014

Had a lovely day at the garden. A few new faces and plenty of regulars. We weeded, watered, cleared the bolted greens (lettuce and chard), and planted pak choi and chard. The harvest was potatoes, tomatoes, chard, lettuce, squash, runner beans and radishes. Digging the potatoes was seriously hard work as the dry soil was like concrete – thanks to Prakash for his persistence. Sadie made harvest piles and we had to draw straws as there weren’t enough squash to go around.

Save the date – Saturday 20 September is the tentative date for the Harvest Feast. It’s Capital Growth’s Edible Garden Open Day. Here’s an image of last year’s harvest feast:

Harvest Feast 2013

Everything is really early this year because of the warm weather. The crab apples are at least a month early. We harvested some of those as well to make delicious jelly – recipe here.

Billy watering the roots of the tomatoes

Billy watering the roots of the tomatoes


The harvest

Lynn weeding.


Prakash digging potatoes.


Runner beans on their amazing support built by the Trees for Cities trainees.


Only 3 tomatoes…Dig Day Sunday 20 July

Posted: July 21, 2014

This week we welcomed a couple more new gardeners to the group, and were also paid a visit by two of the ‘grow leaders’ from Loughborough Farm, who complimented us on how good the garden was looking!


The squashes are looking good!

We found quite a few more volunteer tomatoes mixed in with the parsnips, but there was no space to move them to so we left them where they were and supported them with canes. Most of them already had fruit on them. We checked all the other tomatoes were properly supported and managed to harvest 3 that were ripe!

We also harvested lots of young carrots, some spinach and runner beans.

Everything looked in good order after all the clearing and planting that was done last week. We were just giving all the beds a really good water when there was a huge downpour!

Carrots, spinach, runner beans and a tomato

Carrots, spinach, runner beans and a tomato




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