The Land Rover Owners Wife

The Garden Share Collective: April 2014

6 Comments

Finally the weather has picked up enough for some jobs to be done in the school garden and although not many of them involve planting or harvesting things, I can at least put together a post for The Garden Share Collective this month.

As I was saying, busy though I have been, the majority of the last month has been tied up with the painting of the vegetable trugs and storage box for the Foundation Area garden. Luckily one of the dads agreed to assemble the items, once all the component parts had been painted but this plan has been stalled by the dreadfully, rusty condition of one set of the main bolts and so I now have to approach the supplier and ask for a replacement set to be sent out.

 What we have been doing in the garden:
Hoping for signs of growth soon.

Hoping for signs of growth soon.

That said we have managed to do some plant related work with one group of young gardeners planting the seed potatoes sent to us by the British potato council. Step by step instructions were enclosed with 7 seed potatoes from two different varieties (we got Rocket 4 seed potatoes and Casablanca, 3), a chitting box, 2 potato bags, labels and stickers for the children. The idea is that the children grow the potatoes and then the school kitchen cooks them.

The project itself involved every participating school, planting their tubers on the same day. Now it’s a case of caring for the crop until harvest day and then the potatoes from each variety are weighed and those weights submitted to the project website. The school with the heaviest crop will win a fabulous prize. Registration for 2015 is already open and if any school garden wishes to join in next years project then here’s the link.

Last years runners are doing very nicely

Last years runners are doing very nicely

The second group of gardeners has also been planting for a competition but this time it is Hundredweight Pumpkin seeds, supplied by our County Council to the gardening clubs in all the local schools. The plan this time is to nurture the plants (if we get any that is as 1 week in and there is no sign of germination) and come October 25th, bring our largest pumpkin to the farmers market where it will be weighed. The school with the largest pumpkin will get a trophy.

We’ve added a twist of our own to this competition making it an inter-house contest within the school itself, with each of the houses putting forward a pumpkin care team. Thankfully all four houses are currently represented by at lest 1 gardening club member but we do need to balance the teams for fairness as my solitary Red  house gardener, for example, is feeling a tad outnumbered by the 7 Green house gardeners.

I will, of course, keep you posted as to how we are progressing in both these competitions.

A lovely group of leeks with one  flower head

A lovely group of leeks with one flower head

Harvesting:

Perhaps not surprisingly, we haven’t harvested anything this last month because the only things we have growing in the garden at the moment, are some big, fat, juicy looking leeks. One of these has formed a flower head but the others are ready for pulling and this is exactly what we’ll be doing when the children come back after the Easter break. There are also some onions growing alongside the leeks and these were grown from seed last year, so it’s a case of fingers crossed that when they die back, there will be something worth harvesting sitting just below the ground.

Jobs to do:

There are loads of jobs to be done including:

1) Finishing off the planters ready for use;
2) Harvesting the leeks;
3) Weeding the beds which, as you can see from the photo’s, are desperately in need of some attention;
4) Sowing the root crops into the raised beds, and
5) Sowing a dozen more seed varieties in the seed trays.

The raised beds need some serious weeding

The raised beds need some serious weeding

It’s great to at the point of seed sowing again. I started the seeds with the children much earlier last year but then they really suffered with the continuous late frosts (June 5th was the last one as I recall), so this year I have chosen to hold back until now because, with the possible exception of Leeks, most seeds appreciate a bit of warmth to get them going.

I think that just about covers it for now but do be sure to pop over to Lizzies blog and check out what’s been happening in the other Collective gardens.

 

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6 thoughts on “The Garden Share Collective: April 2014

  1. Love the idea of the pumpkin growing competition! I failed miserably this year on squash and pumpkins. I usually get a good crop of butternut squash which lasts me for months. This year I planted them with courgettes. The courgettes grew to giant proportions and produced large amounts of fruit. The poor butternut squash got bullied into submission. I’ll keep them separate next Spring!

  2. I hope you don’t get any late frosts again this year. Love the idea of pumpkin growing competition for the kids, they will love it. I am sure the garden will transform over the coming month.

  3. those leeks are looking mighty tasty though!

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