1) Garden Diary - click here to see our gardening journey!
Gardening club was formed from a long list of interested pupils. It was difficult deciding who would be able to come to the club but we eventually produced a list of 10 children with all year groups represented.
Each week the children meet with myself, Mrs Jackson and Mrs Brown - put on overalls and gloves and then get cracking!
We try to have the children doing everything - they are trained in safe use of tools within Forest School sessions and we don't use harmful chemicals.
Some members of our Gardening Club
During their Forest School day on Friday, Mrs Drust and her class started the creation of new No-Dig bed. They used cardboard to suppress the grass and weeds, then covered this with compost.
Gardening club then carried on the task. On Friday, the next Forest School group will continue with the task.
Once finished, the beds are ready to plant!
This week at Gardening Club we were busy sowing a range of seeds including:
Lettuce - Gourmet loose leaf mix
Lettuce - All year round
Tomatoes - Crimson Crush
Tomatoes - Gigantamo
Tomatoes - Big Daddy
Beetroot - Boltardy
Radish - French breakfast
The children thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to see them geminate, so fingers crossed!
This week we started to learn all about composting! With the help of our school kitchen staff, we have set up a system to collect the waste food we need such as carrot and potato peelings. This is then mixed with brown waste such as shredded cardboard and small broken down wood chippings. Finally, it is all added to our Hotbin to let nature begin the process of composting!
This week we had a quick update on our onion seedlings which are just coming through.
The rest of the session was spent discussing the fabulous new resources that we have had delivered including watering cans, tubs for growing potatoes, trays and seed modules, a seed storage box (see picture below) and lots of seeds.
We were also very lucky to receive two copies of Charles Dowding's latest book - 'No Dig Children's Gardening Book' which he has kindly donated to school. The children are passing the book around them and eagerly awaiting their turn!
This week we began our preparation for the coming season by starting to weed the planting beds and mulching up our raspberry plants.
We also checked on the onion seeds that we planted last week and they are just starting to poke through!
This week we sowed the first seeds of the year! We multi-sowed two types of onions (Globo and Red Brunswick) - seeds per module. The children took turns to sow the seeds so all had hands-on experience - it is quite tricky and involves quite a bit of fine-motor control due to the tiny seeds being handled.
We also sowed chilli peppers.
All of the seeds were placed on a heat mat that is set to around 16 degrees. Hopefully we will soon see signs of life!
We also learned how to make paper pots out of newspaper. We will deliberately sow more seeds than we have room for and sell the surplus in order to cover the cost of our seeds.
This week was the first session. After putting on our overalls and gloves, we worked on a range of tasks for about 30 minutes.
Cut back raspberries and blackberries
Emptied the Hotbin composter (and discussed the idea of composting)
Cleared and weeded one of the vegetable beds (once we fully incorporate no dig techniques, the need for weeding will be greatly reduced)
Next week we hope to sow our first seeds of the season (onions), mulch the raspberries and blackberries with compost and being to 'chit' our potato tubers.