Not sure what to do when?

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Very few kitchen gardens are without a compost bin or heap. Composting is a way of converting any organism that has once been living into a nutrient rich product. This when added to the soil, not only introduces nutrients from which your plants will benefit, but improves the soil structure.
A composting project also fits in well with the primary science curriculum for instance possible links with Sorting and using materials, Grouping and changing materials, Rocks and soils, Micro-organisms.

Composting is an all year round activity; however, you will find that some times of the year are more active than others.

For more information and advice click here

Also available on my website is a free Smart notebook download. If you don't have a Smart Notebook application a free interactive reader can be downloaded. This allows you to use but not to save any changes.

I would appreciate feedback on how useful if at all you find the resource.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Why not make a video of your gardening project?

This video comes from the BBC Dig In site. Making a video of your school's gardening activities is an ideal literacy activity and is not as difficult as you might think. I have successfully carried out film making activities with children as young as 6 and also children with special needs. Without exception they have loved it! Film making also integrates Gardening into your ICT lessons. It motivates children who would usually have difficulty in writing about their experiences and adds a new dimension to literacy lessons.

If you do create a video you could upload it to YouTube or TeacherTube and I would be happy to post a link to it on my website. Also I am still keen to receive any photos and information about your school garden to add to my website examples page which at the moment has NO examples. If you have a website showing your schools gardening activities why not email me the link to add here? The aim of this page is to inspire other schools to have a go and also alert them to what went well and any pitfalls. Remember someone has to be first!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

What to do in March

Mid March heralds the start of spring when things really get started in the garden. Temperatures and daylight hours should be increasing although March is also a month of cold winds and strong breezes. As the saying predicts snow is also likely.

As always weather and local conditions should guide you. If conditions are poor resist sowing and planting too early. Later sown seeds catch up but those sown in poor conditions often develop into weak plants.

If conditions are poor many seeds will benefit from being sown indoors in a greenhouse or under cloches.

Suggestions for gardening activities during March are now available on the website click here As usual these can only be offered as suggestions as location, weather and soil conditions can affect timings.

If you wish to add any suggestions then post a comment here

Friday, 5 February 2010

Why fertilise the soil?

If your soil has just been cleared and hasn’t been used for growing before then you will probably not need to use a fertiliser. New ground often produces fantastic crops. Over the years plants use up the natural nutrients in the soil and so the fertility needs supplementing with a fertiliser of some sort.

Fertilisers contain three main plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) which is needed for healthy leaf growth, Phosphorus (P) which is needed by plants to produce healthy roots and shoots and Potassium (K) which is of general benefit to plants but is particularly necessary for plants to produce fruit and flower.

Fertilisers also contain very small amounts of trace elements such as iron and manganese.

The proportions of N, P and K should be quoted on all fertiliser packs as N:P:K so 10:12:24 indicates that the fertiliser is high in potassium and would therefore be good to use on fruiting or flowering plants.

When using fertilisers it is important to follow the instructions on the labels. Just in case the label becomes unreadable you may find it useful to male a note of the instructions to keep somewhere safe.

Click here for more information