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Spring time in the gardens

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

22nd March 2021

The first few months of 2021 have been a busy time in the community gardens.  Our energetic team have been weeding, digging over, sowing and planting as well as laying down manure and mulch in the right places.

We started by digging over the compost heap in January and using the stuff at the bottom to sprinkle on some of the beds ahead of planting.  We’ve also been doing carpentry, putting down new boards around the beds.

Onwards with the sowing of courgettes, broad beans, peas, chilli and salad leaves. Planting out of broad beans has already started.  We’ve also been pruning our apple and pear trees thanks to Andy, who is an expert in this area.  We’re also laying down mulch on the area around the pond, which has been quite susceptible to weeds.  In due course, we’ll plant new wildflowers around the pond to attract insects which, in turn, will hopefully attract the frogs back!




Great progress is being made and we hope you can join us soonIMG_4788 IMG_4775





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Planting seedlings and gathering leaves 21 November 2020

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

On Saturday, we were joined by some very energetic new volunteers.

Agnes planted out the last of the kale and cavolo nero seedlings, some in the greenhouse and the rest outside under cloches.  She also weeded and tidied around the healing plants bed and the area is looking much more organised.

Klara and Gary got stuck in to gathering leaves across the garden and very quickly built up an impressive number of large mountains of leaves – great for our compost heap.  Great work, guys!

We also sprinkled some rich compost from the wormery across the greenhouse and on some of the outside beds, which is all good news for our winter cabbages and salads.

Next week, hopefully we can get more weeding and tidying done – hope you can join us.


Major work is underway in the garden – get involved

Monday, November 11th, 2019
A new higher raised bed to improve accessibility in the garden

A new higher raised bed to improve accessibility in the garden

We are in the process of upgrading and refurbishing the community garden, thanks to a successful application for funding from the Postcode Lottery.

Our first job has been the building and placing of new raised beds, led by the Urban Canopy group. We’ve made a great start thanks to Urban Canopy plus volunteers from the Friends of Ruskin Park and community gardeners.

Together we have put the bed frames together, dug up the top layer of grass in the beds, dug holes to securely place the beds, and filled them with a mixture of manure and soil.

Over the coming weeks we’ll continue our work on the new beds, as well as weeding and digging over our existing beds ready for some planting over winter.

Constructing new beds in the garden

Constructing new beds in the garden

We are very grateful for all the help we have received so far.

More work is planned in the garden and more volunteers are very welcome to come along and lend a hand.

Take that bramble!

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019
Our log seating - which had been completely covered up by bramble bushes

Our log seating – which had been completely covered up by bramble bushes

We had a fantastic dig day in the garden last Saturday and thanks so much to everyone who came along to help out. We had volunteers from the Friends of Ruskin Park, who targeted their energies on our community garden for their volunteering that day, along with a new volunteer who came all the way from west London.

We focused on clearing the huge patch of bramble that had taken over an area in the middle of the garden between two of our crab apple trees. The bushes had become so big that we could no longer see our log seating that was set up beside one of the trees. After a few hours chopping back bramble, the seating was revealed!

We left some of the bramble for future blackberry picking. And there is still some work to do in cutting a bit more of it back. But with a good group of volunteers we made an excellent start.

And just to make sure we were doing it right, we had a friendly bird (possibly a female robin) watching over us as we worked.

Peas, tomatoes, onions and beans growing in the garden

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Things are moving quickly in the community garden. Thanks to help from some of our volunteers – and Trees for Cities – we now have all the grass cut and swept up for composting.

Volunteers planting tomato plants in our wild bed

Volunteers planting tomato plants in our wild bed

And we have cleared a large area around our weeping willow tree of bramble and weeds. This has created lots more space.

Gardeners have planted out tomatoes, sweetcorn, broad beans, peas, garlic, squash and artichokes. And we’ve also been busy clearing our fruit cage and getting a lot of weeding done, partly thanks to volunteers from GoodGym.

We are still growing lots of crops in our polytunnel, so will be planting more veg out in the coming weeks.

Lots of peas are growing in the garden

Lots of peas are growing in the garden

Springtime tidying up and sowing / planting going well

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

We’ve had a busy time recently clearing bramble before it takes over the place – but we’ve left some for blackberries in August.  There is still a lot of clearing and tidying to do in other areas, such as our fruit cage and asparagus beds, but with a little help we’ll get there.

In recent times, we have planted out potatoes, carrots, parsnips, strawberries, broad beans, cabbage etc. and have also started sowing.  In our polytunnel, we have seedling such as tomatoes, sweetcorn, broad beans and have just sown peppers, pumpkin, chervil and dwarf French beans.  More to follow soon.

We are here most Saturday mornings from 10 till 1 if anyone wants to drop in and have a chat with us and find out what’s going on.  We have plenty of growing space here, so a warm welcome awaits for anyone who is interested in getting some experience in growing their own veg.

We’re also looking forward to welcoming new people at the Big Dig Day on Saturday 27th April anytime from 12 to 4.    We hope to get the pizza oven up and running so we can have a party then.


Planting out garlic and dealing with weeds

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

We got a lot of work done during our Dig Day in the garden on Saturday 2 March. Benn and Sadie weeded one very overgrown bed, which took a lot of time. Benn and Justin then weeded another bed that hasn’t been used much recently near the weeping willow tree.

Planting garlic in the garden

Planting garlic in the garden

Justin got on with hoeing the weeds in our beds where we are growing kale and cabbages. And Huseyin did some weeding and also planted more garlic in one of the beds.

We talked about plans to restart a wormery – which gives us lots of good nutrients to add to the beds – and to better organise our compost heaps. We’ll also be sowing some seedlings in pots in our polytunnel soon, so we had a chat about what kind of things we might like to grow over the year.

Weeding the bed next to our weeping willow tree

Weeding the bed next to our weeping willow tree

Our community garden has recently teamed up with the Friends of Ruskin Park, which organises gardening and other activities in other areas of the park. We’ll be in the garden from 10am until around 12.30pm on the first and third Saturday of each month, and there are always plenty of jobs (big and small) to be done.

More volunteers doing work in the garden

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

We were in the garden for a couple of hours last Sunday to coincide with the Ruskin Park Community Harvest day.

Lots of people came along to the park to get involved in the activities, and visitors came to look around our garden and find out more about what we do.

It's great to have new volunteers in the garden

It’s great to have new volunteers in the garden

Thanks to everyone who popped in!

We have had some new volunteers involved in the garden recently, who have taken responsibility for looking after their own beds.

So far they have planted cauliflower, salad leaves, onions, parsnips, carrots, herbs and chard.

Raking over a bed to get ready for planting

Raking over a bed to get ready for planting

It’s meant that more people are working the beds in the garden, which is a good thing.

In the community beds we’ve planted onions and garlic, and are still harvesting our potatoes. On Sunday we gave up on the hope that our remaining tomatoes would ripen, and harvested the last of them.

Green chutney here we come!

Cutting back the willow tree to let more light to the beds

Cutting back the willow tree to let more light to the beds

We also cut back the willow tree, which means one of our beds is not completely overshadowed by branches and it’s a lot easier to see what we are doing.

We harvested some potatoes, and planted more garlic.

In coming weeks we’ll be planting out broad beans and peas for overwintering, plus digging over the beds, weeding, and aerating the soil to get ready for planting.

Everyone is welcome to come along and help out, and share in our harvest.

We will be in the garden on Saturday 6 October from 12 noon until 2pm, and again on Sunday 14 October from 11am until 1pm. It would be great to see you there!


Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and squash in the garden

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

We’re getting ready for the autumn in Ruskin Park Community Garden. That means a lot of digging over beds and laying down compost, to get ready for planting new crops for overwinter.

Lots of green peppers

Lots of green peppers

So far we’ve planted rows of onions and garlic. And we’re still harvesting veg from the last lot of planting.

Currently we’ve got tomatoes (mainly still green!), peppers and squash still growing to be harvested soon.

We’ve also got potatoes still to harvest, while our cabbages and kale are still going strong. And we have plans to plant some broad beans and peas for overwintering.

Squash in the garden

Squash in the garden

Another volunteer is growing cauliflower, rainbow chard and salad leaves.

And another has set about tidying up our herb bed with a view to growing some new herbs in the future.

We’ll be open for all volunteers on Sunday 30 September, from 1-3pm. That’s the day of the Ruskin Park Community Harvest day in the park, so there will be lots for people to do on the day.

All our volunteers – and new people – are welcome to pop in and see how we’re doing in the garden. We are always open to new volunteers getting involved, and we’d love to hear some of your ideas for what else we can plant in the coming year too.

A few potatoes unexpectedly found while digging over a bed

A few potatoes unexpectedly found while digging over a bed

Dig Day Sunday 20 May

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

It was a lovely, sunny and peaceful day in the garden on Sunday. We got through a lot of much-needed weeding! Our broccoli and garlic beds were weeded, along with some more of our Mandala bed.

Earlier in the week Paula had done so much weeding that she discovered chives growing there, which we have left in.

Our purple sprouting broccoli bed before weeding

Our purple sprouting broccoli bed before weeding

We also made a start on weeding some of our mostly empty beds ready for planting out seedlings. We gave everything a good water and planted some pumpkin seeds in the polytunnel.

Volunteers came earlier to the garden last week, and this Sunday we’ll be open from 11am. Please feel free to pop in and lend a hand as there is lots of work to be done!

Our purple sprouting broccoli bed after weeding

Our purple sprouting broccoli bed after weeding