Not sure what to do when?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Raised Beds

Presumably due to the popularity of growing using the raised bed system Harrod Horticultural are adding more products to their range of raised beds systems and accessories.
Some systems would be great for use with young children. Using them will be reminiscent to playing at a sand or water tray.

Bear in mind that plants grown in beds raised from the ground will need more watering.

Accessories offering by Harrod include irrigation kits for raised beds.

Click here for more

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Choosing Apples and Pears page is complete





I have now completed the first section on choosing fruit for your school vegetable patch - click here As usual any comments will be welcome.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Changes made to School Vegetable patch web site

Having used a website analyser to assess my School Vegetable Patch website it seemed that the pages with advice on choosing vegetables and fruit contained too many images and were too large (too many KBs) so I am in the process of splitting them into several pages. The vegetable section has been completed (I hope). The choosing vegetable page now has links to choosing root vegetables, choosing peas and beans etc. I hope this is better (the web analyser says it is!). Please email me if you have difficulty with anything on the website e.g. finding your way around. Suggestions for how this can be improved are always welcome - honest!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Why not try making a gift?

If you want to give a special gift but have no pocket money to spare. Why not try making something?




Try a grass head or a cress head. Just set up the gift so that those receiving it just add water and watch the hair grow.




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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Gardening Calendar

The gardening calendar on The School Vegetable Patch website is now completed up until January. Click here for calendar menu page

When browsing the list of suggested activities please bear in mind that location and weather conditions very much affect any timing of gardening activities and the lists are intended as suggestions only.

Please use comments areas on the blog to suggest other activities or describe what you have done at the appropriate time of year.
Use this posting for January activities and use the links below for other months:

Friday, 4 December 2009

School Vegetable Patch Website

Do you have a website or blog?

I'd like as many schools as possible to be able to take advantage of the information on the School Vegetable Patch website, which is linked to this blog, but Google will prioritise sites with the most number of links from other websites. Can you help by posting a link to the home page of the website on your website or blog (that is of course if you have found the site to be useful!)
 Additionally if you have a school website that has photographs or information about your school vegetable plot, I would love to include a link on the page set aside for school garden examples. Schools seem to be very shy of sharing their efforts - remember it is just as valuable to share what went wrong!! Also please contact me if you have seen a school website with such information and I will contact them to ask permission to link to them.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Forget hyacinth bulbs for the classroom!

If you usually grow hyacinth bulbs in the classroom why not have a go at something more dramatic.

hippeastrum2
I bought these two bulbs on the 16 November and planted them the next day - less that two weeks later and they are off to a flying start. No need to keep them in the dark so you can watch the whole thing as it happens. A fully grown plant is dramatic too with large flowers up to 25 cm across on a flower stalk that reaches 90 cm or more. You can almost see them growing!!

Click on a link to view more about each variety:



More exotic varieties








Evergreen







































If you haven't a class of children to impress why not grow one yourself - they also make an ideal gift.


NEWS FLASH - T & M have cut the cost of their amaryllis bulbs drastically - click here

Friday, 27 November 2009

Cropper the Carrot Goes to the Show

If you teach very young children or have a young child at home and want a book linked to growing your own try this one.

Cropper the Carrot is the star of a book for all children aged 0-6 years. This charming story tells of Cropper's exploits as he and his friends get ready for the big show. 'Cropper the Carrot goes to the show' is a traditional children's book. It is beautifully written and illustrated in striking colour and is a firm favourite with children throughout the world. 
Cropper is charming, cheeky, quick to help others and an all round loveable rogue. Cropper gets into all sorts of scrapes because he is that kind of carrot.

The book is written by Phil McCann and illustrated by David Barnett. Phil has written for virtually every gardening publication in the UK and is the author of many gardening books. He has worked in every kind of gardening media and has appeared as a gardening presenter on screen and on radio so he knows his carrots.

Written, illustrated and printed in the UK, 'Cropper the Carrot goes to the show' appeals to all children who are starting to read, developing their reading skills and those who simply want to a enjoy a great story.

For more books linked to gardening click here

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Choosing the right greenhouse

Along with a garden shed there will come a time when everyone growing their own vegetables will consider buying a greenhouse.

If you are going to raise your own plants from seeds then you are going to need some type of greenhouse in which to keep them protected until conditions are right for outdoor planting.

If blight is a problem where you garden it is also best to grow tomatoes under cover.

A greenhouse will also extend the length of time that you can carry out gardening activities and offer protection for the gardener not only the plants if weather is poor.

Choosing the right greenhouse is important as it is not only a major expense but one that you will live with for a long time. We have agreenhouse that has moved its location three times and is still going strong.

For more advice on making the right choice for you click here

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Choosing a Garden Shed

Before choosing a shed you need to decide what you will use it for. Is it just for storage, is it going to double up as a workshop or potting shed, is it somewhere to shelter from the weather?

If the shed is to be used just for storage then would a storage cabinet be suitable instead? Sheds just used for storage may not need to have a window. This may also be seen as added security by keeping your gardening tools out of sight.

However ,if you wish to use the shed as a workshop or potting shed then you will require as much light as possible.

Click here for more tips on choosing the right shed for you.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Choosing fruit for the school plot

One of the problems of growing fruit with children is that it can take a while for new plants to become established and produce a crop of fruit.
The season is also long and this can cause young children to lose interest. The key here is to focus on the changing seasons. The children can look out for new leaf buds, buds coming into leaf and the shapes of the leaves, flower buds, opening flowers and the structure of a flower, pollination by the insects, the types of insects visiting the fruit trees/bushes, immature fruits forming, fruit maturing, harvesting, leaves changing colour and eventually falling from the tree. Some fruit bushes such as blackcurrants and gooseberries do not have obvious flowers which in itself is interesting.

Strawberries are probably the easiest of the fruits to grow. They mature in a much shorter time and can be grown in containers as well as in open ground. Alpine strawberries are a cultivated form of wild strawberries and are grown from seed.

Most fruits can be grown in containers if this is preferred but will need far more attention than those grown in open ground. Watering is especially crucial and could be problematic during school holidays. If you wish to grow fruit in containers check that the variety and rootstock is suitable for this type of cultivation.

Varieties should be carefully considered, however you wish to grow your fruit. Choose varieties or rootstock that are the right size for your plot, that don’t grow into trees too high for the children to appreciate them and also that don’t produce most of their fruit during the August holiday.

All fruit performs best if situated in a sheltered, sunny position in fertile soil. Soil preparation is important as the plants will remain in position for a long time.

Click here for more help with choosing fruit for your patch.


Victoriana Nursery Gardens Special Discounts



Victoriana Nursery Gardens
Are offering a 10% discount on all their products no code required as discount is automatically applied (prices are already very competitive) to anyone ordering from them after visiting any of my blogs or websites.

They also offer a discount scheme for schools
School Gardening Discount Scheme

Schools are offered a blanket discount of 20% on seed and plant orders and 10% on garden tool and sundry orders (this discount does not extend to the carriage element of any order). For more information click here

Why not click here and browse their website anyway!

Monday, 16 November 2009

RHS website changes - HELP needed.

The RHS have decided to update their website so links that I have created to their site may not lead to the required pages.

I am changing these as soon as I come across them but some are difficult to spot so please let me know if you find any bad links either on my blogs or websites so that I can deal with them.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Worms as pets?

Worms make ideal class pets! They don’t need grooming or exercising nor do they live in cages that need regularly cleaning out. They will also survive over the school holidays without being fed every day.

By keeping a wormery not only would you be acquiring a trouble free member of the class – and how often does that happen? – but you would also be provided with a very worthwhile educational resource. It would provide the children with a practical way of taking part in a recycling project and also fits in well with the science curriculum. On top of all of that the worms will produce an end product that can be used in the school garden.


To learn more about wormeries click here

To make a mini version of a wormery for observation purposes click here

To read more about earthworms click here

Saturday, 7 November 2009

December calendar is complete


December is a quiet time in the garden.
Frosty nights are frequent this month. Although frosts can be seen as a problem they also help break down lumpy soil and kill many plant pests and diseases. They also improve the flavour of vegetables such as parsnips. If the ground is very frosty or wet then it is best to avoid walking on it as this can spoil the soil structure. Cold winds, rain and even snow can also be a feature. If possible remove snow from bushes, especially those in leaf, to avoid damage. It is also possible that some early snow could fall. Click here for suggested December activities. If you wish to add suggestions then please use the comments area of this post.

Although work outdoors may be limited don't forget to consider your plot wildlife. Look after them through the winter months and they will pay you back by helping keep pests at bay during the growing season. Winter months are also a good time to plan for the season ahead. The children could also record weather conditions as we have started to do for our garden.

The calendar indew had for some reason disappeared and so I have recreated it here.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Choosing which vegetables to grow.


Do you have an area of land prepared for your vegetable patch but are unsure of what you should grow? I recently received an email from a school that had just this problem and so I am working on some pages on my website that I hope will offer some support.

Besides growing vegetables consider growing fruit, herbs, flowers and if space allows some shrubs or trees. Also consider the introduction of wildlife habitats and feeding stations.

Herbs, flowers, shrubs and trees will encourage a diversity of wildlife which will help control vegetable pests and ensure successful pollination.

Choice of what to grow will depend on several things:

  • How much space do you have available?
  • What age of children are you working with?
  • How much time do you have to devote to the vegetable patch?
  • Have you anyone who will take care of your plot during school holidays – especially during August?
Unfortunately August is a really busy time for harvesting crops. In order to minimise the effect of having vegetables ready for harvesting in August choose early ot late maturing varieties. If you can persuade someone to harvest crops such as beans during the August holiday then they should keep producing and provide some vegetables for harvesting in September.

Fruit and vegetable growth does not necessarily fit in to the schools year. Some crops that have a long growing season will need to be planted during one school year and harvested during the next. If this isn't desirable then you will need to omit growing crops that require a long season.

The pages that I am working on are intended to give you a starting point and help you make appropriate choices.

So far I have completed the advice on choosing vegetables other pages will be produced later. For vegetable advice click here

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Simple Crop Rotation


I had an email asking for advice on crop rotation so I have created a web page dedicated to this issue.

Although you don’t need to get too obsessive about crop rotation you should avoid growing the same type of crops in the same patch of soil year after year.

Different types of plants benefit from different types of nutrients and suffer from different types of pests and diseases. Moving crops around helps reduce the risk of creating a build up of pests or disease in a given area and also makes best use of available nutrients.

Some crops also benefit by following a specific type of crop.

Crops such as sweetcorn and members of the squash family can fit in where there are any gaps. Lettuces and other salad leaves can also be grown in any available spaces. To read more about crop rotation click here

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Feed the birds day

You may be like us and feed the birds every day but the official RSPB Feed the Birds Day is this Saturday 24 October. The RSPB web site gives advice on feeding birds and helping other wildlife. If you are a school why not have your own feed the birds event such as making fat cakes to take home. For instructions on how to make a fat cake click here.



The RSPB are running events linked to this on 24 & 25 October. If you don't usually feed the birds why start this weekend.



Haiths and Garden Birds are two online supplier of a wide range of bird and wild life food. Haiths also offer advice on their web site click here


Haith's - Trusted Bird Food Since 1937


Don't forget that birds need water for drinking and bathing too!

Celebrate Apple Day

Today is Apple Day click here to read more.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Last opportunity to sign the petition is this week

The last opportunity to sign the petition is on Friday so if you wish to sign you need to hurry!

Growing Potatoes

It's time to start deciding which varieties to plant next year. There always seems to be so much to take into consideration. Suppliers are obviously going to present the seed potatoes that they sell in the best light so a website such as The British Potato Variety Database can be a good source of information.

Click here for advice on buying seed potatoes and other potato products

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Jack o' Lantern


Why not have a go at making a Jack o' Lantern. If anyone would like to send me a photo of a jack o' lantern or pumpkin head that they have made then I would be pleased to post some photos. Just one photo would be good but in the unlikely event that I am swamped by photos I'll choose the best! Just send a JPEG image using the email link on the sidebar with a bit of information about yourself and anything else you want to tell me.



Tuesday, 6 October 2009

September's calendar has now been posted.


I have started the calendar in September which I posted today. This is to follow the school year. From now on I'll try to post each calendar at least a month in advance. Please do post any ideas for activities that I have missed or make comments on what you have done each month. I don't want this to be a one way thing!

Click here for September's calendar

Sunday, 4 October 2009

November calendar tasks have been added


Although it is possible that mild spells may occur colder weather is likely to set in this month. There is an increased possibility of frost and gales. By the end of the month any leaves left on trees will have fallen.
There is likely to be fewer opportunities to work outdoors in the garden. If the ground is wet or frozen it is far better to keep off until weather conditions improve.

Click here to read the calendar

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Gardening Calendar

On "The School Vegetable Patch website" I have started a calendar of suggested gardening activities. A gardening calendar can never be more than a list of suggestions. Gardening activities are very much dependent on weather, location and soil conditions. No two years are exactly alike. Conditions will vary considerably in different areas of the UK. You will need to familiarise yourself with your local climate such as likely frost dates. The Garden Action website has a tool which you can use to predict when your area is likely to experience its first and last frosts of the year but remember this is only a guide and conditions can vary from year to year and even from one garden to another.

You also need to know what soil type you are gardening with and be aware of the soil conditions. If the ground is too cold, too wet or too dry some tasks will need to be delayed. Many activities will be equally suited to more than one month of the year.

So far the October link has been completed - more will be added over time. Updates will be posted on here on the blog.
If you would like to add suggestions to the months activities either email me or post a comment here.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Planning a new school vegetable patch?

Planning is key to the success of your school vegetable patch. You need to be systematic in your approach and very well planned. This is especially important when working with children and if you are a beginner to vegetable growing.

For some suggestions for how you would go about starting a new patch from scratch click here

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Share your plot activities!

It seems schools are really shy at sending examples of their vegetable plots.

An article with supporting photos of a school plot can be a really purposeful activity for children and publishing on a website gives children a whole new audience to consider. The article could be set up using a variety of different genre e.g. journalistic, informative, instuctional, discussion pros and cons of doing something in a particular way, diary entries etc.

It also provides a very useful resource to share with other schools.

Ways to share information would be to send an article to my website but this isn't the only way of sharing. Why not think of creating a website especially devoted to your gardening activities or if you prefer create a blog to which all children can contribute. If you do this I would love to have a link to your website or blog so my visitors can share your experiences.

A free website mangement system is available here http://www.schools.ik.org/ it provides a really easy way to create school website which I use when creating websites for schools. Articles created by he children could be copied and pasted directly onto the web page although images would need to be uploaded separately - it isn't difficult. If you don't fancy doing this yourself I do offer a web creation service which you may want to consider using. Contact me for information on cost etc. although as this is just a spare time activity for me there is only limited availability. You have more chance in autumn winter when my gardening activities are less demanding.

Tou may also have a blogging syten set up by your LA - I know the Yorkshire and Humber side region YHGFL have a system - check with your ICT consultant.
There is also a free system called Edublogs http://edublogs.org/

Sunday, 6 September 2009

What about a few bulbs to brighten the veg patch?

hy not keep the children's interest by growing some bulbs. These can be grown in pots for the classroom or directly in the ground. I remember as a child growing a hyacinth in a special container which allowed me to watch the roots developing. I don't know if these containers are still available but any glass container will do that has a mouth that is small enough to hold the bulb just over the water level. Fill the container with water just to the point that it is barely touching the bottom of the bulb.

There are plenty of catalogues dropping through my door advertising offers and many more on the Internet.



One such catalogue was from Spalding bulbs so I decided to check out their web site to get a bit more information of what was on offer.

For their full range of bulbs click here

Friday, 7 August 2009

Choosing Gardening Tools for Children?

There is now a huge selection of children’s gardening tools from which to choose. They range from plastic toy tools to metal and wooden tools which are simply smaller versions of high quality adult garden tools.

Generally the plastic tools are only suitable for toddlers. They do have the advantages of being light and less likely to have sharp edges but they are not as sturdy as the metal and wood versions.

A wide range of types of garden tools for children are available. You can buy spades, forks, trowels, hoes, leaf rakes, brushes and watering cans. There are even some fabulous children’s wheelbarrows.


School Packs are also available from some suppliers.
For advice on what to buy click here

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Classroom Activities - Minibeast life cycles

Your school vegetable garden can provide an excellent starting point for the study of mini-beast life cycles. I have devoted a section of my website to the wildlife that I have found on my allotment and in my garden.

The latest article features the life cycle of the large white butterfly. It includes a short video portraying the fascinating life cycle of this regular garden visitor.
Another article explains the life cycle of the ladybird.
Insect life cycle kits can also be bought so that children can have first hand experience of one of the wonders of nature.
This activity can link to the literacy, ICT and science curriculum.


Harrod Horticultural Offers Extended til the end of August

Special Offers on raised beds and plant protection products have been extended til the end of August. Click on the links for more information.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Save the honeybee


The Soil Association have launched a campaign to save the honeybee click here to find out how you can help!

One factor in the decline of honeybees has been shown to be the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids. This topic would also provide a great letter writing activity for children which would link Literacy, Science and ICT. Click here for information on how to write to your MP.
Click here for more curriculum activities linked to gardening
For more information about bees visit my website page here

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Contaminated Manure Problem

You may be aware of the problem with contaminated manure experienced by lots of gardeners last year. If you are unaware of the problem then you may like to read the information by clicking here.

Some of you may be interested in adding your name to a new epetition. If so visit here

Also please make sure everyone you know is aware of the problem so we can try and cut down the number of new victims. I have created and posted an information sheet here which you may find useful to circulate to all your contact.



Friday, 17 July 2009

New resources now available

Plant families and life cycles of plants:

Now available: The Cabbage Family

Now Available -The Roots Family
Price £25 + £2.50 postage and packaging within the UK (overseas postage will vary)
These add to the resources collection which already included Peas and Beans and The Onion Family


Save postage by ordering all four resources at £4.00 for p&p - saving of £6

These Smart Notebook and PowerPoint resources are rich in photographs showing every stage in the life cycle of the vegetables that the children may grow in their vegetable patch. There are four separate resources each focusing on a particular plant family. Each resource is accompanied by original high quality photographs, (approximately 120 in Peas and Beans resource), that can be used when making worksheets or within children's work. Each resource is provided in three formats: PowerPoint version 2007 - linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities PowerPoint version 97 - 2003 - linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities Smart Notebook - contains the content of the PowerPoint versions and activities.

If you would like the resources but don't have the software to run them? Download a free viewer Smart offer a Notebook viewer, (for Windows 2000 or later, Mac or Linux), that can be downloaded from the internet. The viewer will allow interaction with the resource but will not allow any editing. Likewise PowerPoint viewers can be downloaded. All are fully editable using the appropriate software allowing teachers the freedom to simplify or edit the resources for younger or less able children. The PowerPoint formats are each linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities.



More details and ordering information


Monday, 6 July 2009

Watch out for blight on potatoes and tomatoes!!

Blight was responsible for the Irish potato famine and the period of starvation, disease and mass emigration that followed. It is the dread of anyone who grows potatoes or tomatoes - one minute you have healthy looking plants and promise of a good crop and then the next all the hard work and careful tending has come to nothing! When our allotment site was relatively derelict we rarely suffered from blight but now that the site is fully occupied this problem has increased in severity. Blight is a fungal disease whereby spores are spread by wind and rain. From June onwards is the period when potatoes and tomatoes are most likely to become affected.
The condition for spread of blight is known as a Smith period. This is a period of at least two consecutive days where the minimum temperature is at least 10ÂșC and on each day there are at least 11 hours when the relative humidity is greater than 90%. The potato council operates a blightwatch service click here. They have 300 blight scouts walking potato fields over the growing season and reporting on any sitings of blight. Blight regional maps are available for viewing on their website click here which show where blight has been sited. Watering potatoes or tomatoes in such a way that wets the foliage can artificially produce a Smith period.

Brown patches on leaves are the first signs that blight has affected your crops. The leaves will then curl up and wither. The problem can be that other potato/tomato problems may display similar symptoms. There are photos of blight affected potato and tomato plants here, here here and here. You can also buy a testing device to check for blight from here.

Blight can be a sneaky problem as it can lurk on seemingly perfect fruit or tubers. Tomatoes that appear unaffected can start to rot five days after they have been picked.

It's almost impossible to prevent blight but there are precautions that can be taken. Avoid planting potatoes and tomatoes in the same areas in two consecutive years as spores can be present in the soil. Leaving affected leaves and stems lying around can also increase the chances of passing the disease on. Earthing up can make it less likely that the spores will infect the potato tubers. Another alternative is to grow early varieties of potatoes that will mature before blight conditions prevail or to try some varieties that are supposed to have some degree of blight resistance. If anyone has any experience of varieties that have seemed to weather the blight storm please share your experiences by posting a comment.

A protective fungicide can be used but this needs to be applied before blight is apparent and spraying has to continue every 10 days after the first application.

If your potato plants do succumb to blight then remove and burn the affected foliage - it is possible that the spores may not have reached the potato tubers. After removal of the foliage leave the tubers in the ground for at least two weeks. During this period spores on the surface will hopefully be killed and lifted potatoes may avoid being infected. Once lifted you will need to keep checking the tubers for signs of blight and dispose of any that become mushy or have dark patches on the skin.

Tomatoes grown in greenhouses are afforded a little protection from wind borne spores, however if spores do enter the greenhouse the disease will thrive in the warm humid conditions. It is also extremely likely that tomatoes will be grown in a greenhouse year after year and so any spores remaining in the soil may be more likely to spread the disease from one year to the next. Removing the bottom leaves of tomato plants can help in that plants can be watered directly on the roots thus avoiding any splashing onto the leaves.

After today's rain, I guess for now it is just a matter of sitting tight and keeping everything crossed.

Potato Council quick reference for disease, disorders and pests that affect potatoes.

Friday, 5 June 2009

I'd love to receive photos of your school vegetable patch!

Don't forget that I would love some examples of how schools have created their own vegetable patches. Ideally a short piece explaining how your school set about building the garden with photos. But if you can only send photos this would also be good.

Don't forget though it is your responsiblity to gain permission from parents to include any photos showing children and to get permission from any adults too. If this isn't possible just photograph your plot. A permission form is available click here and scroll to the bottom on the page..

Any articles photographs will be posted here

Remember someone has to be the first so don't be shy in coming forward. You can email me if you need more information or if you intend to send in photographs etc later in the year please do.

Friday, 8 May 2009

T & M are offering 50% disount on all vegetable seeds

Thompson and Morgan are offering a 50% disciunt on all vegetable seeds 'til 14 May.
Click on our T and M link to find out more

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Trying to grow carrots without carrot fly damage!

A description of our method of growing carrots along with one or two other additions has been added to the gardening techniques page of The School Vegetable Patch website.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Planting onion and shallot sets

We use sets from which to grow our onions and shallots. Onions can be raised from seed but are more prone to problems and do not do as well on poor soil. The process also takes longer to produce a mature onion. Growing shallots from seed is fairly uncommon. Last year for the first time we tried heat treated onion sets. These are treated to cut down the chance of the plant bolting and producing a flower stem. The heat treated sets are more expensive but did perform better than those that were not treated and so this year that is all that we are planting. Heat treated sets should be planted slightly late than other sets i.e. late March to Early April. Onion sets are smaller than shallot sets. An onion set is an immature onion which was grown from a seed the previous year. It will grow and form one onion, whereas a shallot set splits and forms a cluster of several shallots.

We also planted both onion and shallot sets last year to overwinter which will give us an earlier crop. The ones planted this spring will be good for storing over next winter. Click here to read how we go about planting the sets.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Sowing Parsnip Seeds

Parsnip seed does not keep well and so it is recommended that new seed is purchased each year to increase the chance of good germination.

Parsnips are in the ground for a long time - we are still harvesting parsnips sown last year, so this should be kept in mind when choosing a location for sowing.


Most advice is to plant very early but there is no point in doing this if the ground is cold and wet as the seed will rot and so not germinate in these conditions.

Parsnip seeds are notoriously slow to germinate and some people prefer to pre-germinate them on damp kitchen paper but touch
wood we have generally had reasonable success using the method explained here.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Pricking our seedlings

We germinate most of our seeds in seeds trays and transplant out into the plot as young plants. Most young seedlings need pricking out once they have germinated.
If you are new to gardening and are unsure of how to do this click here
A new section has been added to the School Vegetable Patch website. Click here
This is intended to help those new to gardening understand some techniques. If you need instructions for a gardening techniques then post a comment and I'll see what I can do to help!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Free Literacy resources now available

Sequencing or writing caption for a gardening activity :
Link to writing instruction
Provide the children with a PowerPoint showing images of a gardening activity (e.g. Sowing seeds), one image to each slide, where the sequence of events has been jumbled.
Open the presentation in Slide Sorter view and ask the children to order the sequence. Once it is ordered the children can type sentences with the pictures to provide instructions for someone else to follow the process.

Click here for information on sowing seeds
Click here to access resources on the Literacy activities web page

Share your experiences

Use the comments area in this post to share your experiences.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Classroom Resources now available

Plant families and life cycles of plants:
Now available: Peas and Beans

Now Available -The Onion Family

Price £25 + £2.50 postage and packaging within the UK (overseas postage will vary
Coming soon Root Vegetables and The Cabbage Family


These Smart Notebook and PowerPoint resources are rich in photographs showing every stage in the life cycle of the vegetables that the children may grow in their vegetable patch.

There are four separate resources each focusing on a particular plant family. Each resource is accompanied by original high quality photographs, (approximately 120 in Peas and Beans resource), that can be used when making worksheets or within children's work. Each resource is provided in three formats:
PowerPoint version 2007 - linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities
PowerPoint version 97 - 2003 - linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities
Smart Notebook - contains the content of the PowerPoint versions and activities.
Like the resources but don't have the software to run them?
Download a free viewer

Smart offer a Notebook viewer, (for Windows 2000 or later, Mac or Linux), that can be downloaded from the internet
. The viewer will allow interaction with the resource but will not allow any editing. Likewise PowerPoint viewers can be downloaded.

All are fully editable using the appropriate software allowing teachers the freedom to simplify or edit the resources for younger or less able children. The PowerPoint formats are each linked to a series of Smart Notebook activities.
More details and ordering information click here