Not sure what to do when?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Good time to pick up bargains

If you have the time in between all the school Christmas preparations now is a good time for picking up on special offers from the various online seed companies.

The latest offer to pop into my email was from Unwins who are offering free onion and shallot sets worth £9.25 with any order from their website click below

When you buy ANY product from the Unwins website, you can receive a FREE pack of 100 ‘Senshyu Yellow’ Onion sets worth £4.50 AND a FREE pack of 100 ‘Biztro’ Shallot sets worth £4.75. To redeem this offer customers will have to add voucher codes: SENS11 for to receive the Onions and BIZ11 to receive the Shallots. 

I'll post any other offers that come my way as I receive them

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Ideas for new resources and feedback

As you will be aware if you browse the blog or go to this link on my website, I have created several resources which are not only appropriate for use in schools but also may be interesting for new vegetable growers.

I know that these resources are being accessed but I haven't had any feedback relating to how successful they are in use. If you have used the resources and could spare a few minutes to offer some feedback i would be really grateful. Any suggestions for improvements will be considered.

I would also be interested in any suggestions that you may have for new resources 

It would also be great if you could provide some information about your school garden for the examples page of my website see here for more information. I know schools are always interested to read about how other schools tackle a gardening project.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Flowering Plants resource now freely available online

Don't have a school garden but you are studying Green Plants
Flowering Plants - a resource to support the Green plants section of the science, National Curriculum.

It covers:
  • recognition and an understanding of the purpose of the parts of a green plant and a flower
  • the requirements that a green plant has to ensure healthy growth
  • animations showing the processes of photosynthesis, germination, pollination and the various methods through which seeds are dispersed
  • an understanding that there are different groups of flowering plants
  • an understanding that plants grow in different environments and how they adapt to suit specific environments
  • an understanding on the importance of green plants and what they provide

As this resource is new please email me if you find any broken links or have any feedback following use of this or any other of the resources provided. I am only able to offer these resources freely due to the generous support of visitors to my web site who use the links on my shopping pages. Most of the companies that I link to offer a small percentage commission on sales generated from my links.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Win £500 of Gardening Equipment!

To mark the launch of our their hand-tool website WOLF-Garten Direct, Mow Direct are giving away £500 worth of brand new gardening tools to the lucky winner of their competition! Click here for more details

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Warning - handle plants with care in the sunshine

You may have parsnips on your patch that are past their best. Take care when clearing then away as sap from parsnip leaves can react with sunshine and cause the skin to be badly burned and blistered.

Parsnips are related to the giant hogweed which is known for its danger to skin. Parsnips are not the only plants to have potentially dangerous sap, among many others, carrot and celery sap can cause a similar problem.

Care should also be taken when strimming grass in sunny weather - if legs are not covered grass sap is likely to splatter your skin and again react with the sunshine to cause burning.

Unconvinced then read this

If in doubt always wear gloves and have skin covered when cutting plants to expose their sap.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bird Watching Online

Recently we set up a bird box complete with a web camera in our garden and a pair of blue tits almost immediately claimed it as a nesting site.

The female built a cosy nest in which she laid eight eggs that she is now incubating.

You may like to let your class follow what happens so I have popped a direct link to the web area that contains updates of the birds activity on the sidebar of this blog.

Use the links at the top of the web page to see earlier activity.

Monday, 28 February 2011

The cabbage family resource is now available online

The third plant family resources are now freely available. The resources follow exactly the same format as the peas and beans resources

Click here to access all resources

If you don't have Smart Notebook software you can use the web based Smart Notebook Express with the whiteboard resources click here to read more

The cabbage family resource includes information on growing brassica seeds, the pests that affect brassicas and the life cycle of the large white butterfly - complete with video clip.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Onion plant family resource now available

The third plant family resources are now freely available. The resources follow exactly the same format as the peas and beans resources

Click here to access all resources

If you don't have Smart Notebook software you can use the web based Smart Notebook Express with the whiteboard resources click here to read more

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Root Vegetable plant family resource now available

The second plant family resources are now freely available. The resources follow exactly the same format as the peas and beans resources

Click here to access all resources

If you don't have Smart Notebook software you can use the web based Smart Notebook Express with the whiteboard resources click here to read more

Sunday, 20 February 2011


The resources that were originally available on CD are now being transferred online. Commission gained from sales from the links on this and our other website and blogs now enable us to offer these resources freely.
So far I have transferred the first of the plant families resource - Peas and Beans.

There are two resources to support work on each of the plant families. One is delivered through web pages and contains information and photographs of each of the stages of each plants development including some information about raising your own plants from seed.

The second resource is a downloadable Smart Notebook file with activities to support the online resource - these included naming of the plants, matching the plant to the seed and arranging the lifecycle.

Other resources are also available that link to composting activities and literacy/sowing and raising seeds.
To access the resources visit this page of my website but don't forget to revisit as more resources will be added as I manage to create the web pages.

I welcome feedback on any of the resources and remember you can help resource the wesite by sending me an article supported with photos of your own school website - it would make a great literacy activity for some of your children.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Greenhouse without glass.

If you are worried about the health and safety aspect of children working in a glass greenhouse or you want to site your greenhouse in a position where it is in danger of being used for taget practice, this may be the solution for you.

Alternatively you may only want a greenhouse for one part of the year - for instance to raise seeds - this greenhouse can be deflated and put somewhere safely during the summer holidays.

The material is the same as used in white water rafts so it should be very durable and should also provide insulation.

The greenhouse comes in three sizes and comes with electric pump and adaptors, guy ropes, plastic pegs, repair kit and full instruction booklet.

To find out more click here

If you want a do it yourself verion of a no-glass greenhouse then you could try making a bottle greenhouse - click here

A range of greenhouse that use polcarbonate glazing is available from here and here (including polytunnels). More greenhouse and polytunnel choices can be found at TWO WESTS click on the Garden Buildings tab on their website.

For more help in choosing a greenhouse click here

Don't forget I am always in search of schools who are willing to add some information about their gardening activities to the example pages of my website here

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Making an early start

Early in the year it can be difficult to get started on gardening projects. In schools it is especially important that seed sowing isn't delayed for too long. You want to have as good a chance as possible to harvest crops such as tomatoes before the August holidays.

Starting seeds in classrooms (or homes for that matter) with less than very good levels of light mean that although seeds often germinate successfully but then the seedlings become weak and leggy through lack of light. This means that you often lose the benefit of sowing early.

On possible solution may be to invest in an Indoor Grow Light Garden. I know funds can be tight for schools but this could be a possible target for some fund raising activities or maybe you could put in a bit for funding from a local supermarket, bank or other possible community supporter.
The above garden is supplied by Harrod Horticultural for more information click here

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Planning for the new season

Online Garden Planning Tool
It may not be ideal gardening weather outside at the moment but there is still plenty to do. It's a good time to plan your plot. Planning provides a good opportunity for children to create plans and diagrams. They could use a computer programme such as the Growveg system which many schools have found useful. Click here for more information.

It is also a good time to start monitoring weather conditions to help the children to understand how the seasons change and why we start growing when we do. Again this provides a real life opportunity to create and analyse charts and graphs. Click here for data on our weather over the year.

DON'T be tempted to sow seeds too early unless you want to use this as a science project to understand what happens when seedlings are grown in different conditions e.g. low light.

Now is the time though to make sure that you have all the seeds and plants that you need for the new season.

There is advice on what to choose on these pages Now is an ideal time to be choosing fruits plants. If you leave your ordering too late then you may have less choice. Try browsing the Victoriana site where schools can obtain special rates

Also make sure to buy your seed potatoes in good time. Don't forget to visit the Potato Council - Grow your Own Potatoes site where schools can register your school to receive a FREE potato growing kit. Information on planting potatoes in open ground can be accessed here and in containers here.

Advice on many gardening techniques can be found here. If you think I should add more items to help you with your gardening please email any suggestions to me