Every year Morrisons supermarket runs the “Let’s grow” voucher scheme, whereby for every £10 spent in store, a voucher is handed over to the shopper which can then be handed over to a school. So up and down the length and breadth of the country, for a few weeks each summer, mums, dads, aunts, uncles, nannas and grandpas are adding to the total number of vouchers for a particular school.
Being a small school, we also rely on the generosity of the community to help boost our totals but even with this additional assistance, we can only dream of ever being in the position to order one of the various kits for which at least 2 thousand vouchers are required.
Unfortunately, this scheme doesn’t allow for vouchers to be ‘banked’ for use in a subsequent year and so we’re pretty much stuck around the 750-850 mark. That said we are still able to order some things but with 25 vouchers need for just one packet of seeds, you can see that the 835 that we got last summer didn’t really stretch very far at all.
Yesterday, the items we ordered arrived and with it a pH soil testing kit!
You may or may not recall but the schools’ raised beds were bought with a Lottery Grant and were then filled with top soil, generously donated by one of the local farms. I have spent the last 3 years or so, enriching the soil to try and improve our growing capabilities and so when I realised that we could get the testing kit with the Morrisons vouchers, I didn’t hesitate. It ‘cost’ something like 265 vouchers but I felt it would be worth the investment and could even be used in science lessons.
So, as I’ve already said, the Morrisons stuff arrived yesterday and with it the pH testing kit. Of course like most kids, when I get a new toy I want to play with it straight away and so, with a watering can of rain water from the water butt, I set about testing the soil in the beds and 15 minutes later I had the following results:
- Square Bed 6.5
- Round Bed 6.4
- Triangle Bed 6.9
- Hexagon Bed 6.4
- Rectangle Bed 6.6
- Octagon Bed 5.7
- Half Barrel 5.8
A fairly uniform result across most of the raised beds and the slightly lower result for the Octagon bed is explained by the fact that when I had to move the Half Barrel from the Foundation Area, I first needed to empty it and I dumped its’ soil onto that bed for ‘storage’ purposes. You can see the difference in the soils from the photos, the darker soil being the higher pH and the sandier, lighter looking soil being the lower reading.
So now we have a bit more information about the state of our beds and we can feed, treat and grow accordingly.