With the Foundation Area planters assembled and in position, it became apparent that there was a slight problem with them……..they were obviously designed for slightly older children and as a result, were too tall for the Foundation/Year 1 pupils.
Thankfully a grandpa with a saw came to the rescue and dropped them by 6 inches, so they are now Munchkin height.
Each planter came with a fabric liner and once these were fitted they were ready for filling. And, oh boy, wouldn’t they take some filling! According to the website the larger 1.8m long planter required 7 x 60ltr bags of compost (420ltr total) and the smaller 1m one, 3.5 x 60ltrs (210ltr). Thankfully, when I had put the grant application together, I had included the cost of the substrate.
In the event the large one took 6 x 50ltr of compost, plus 2 x 30ltr of topsoil (360ltr) and the smaller one, 3 x 50ltrs of compost and 1 x 30ltr of topsoil (180ltr). To try and put anymore in would have caused the levels to be in line with the top edge, potentially creating overflow whilst gardening with the children. As it is, the level in the planters is about 2 inches below the top edge which is ideal.
The children will be able to start sowing seeds in the large planter next week and will be planting a tomato, cucumber and winter squash into the smaller planter.
Elsewhere in the garden the first of the competition pumpkin plants have been planted out into the raised beds and the remaining three will be planted into one of the flowerbeds next week. They were definitely ready for planting out as you can see from the root ball in the following photo’. The children in our school are split into four house teams and as part of the main County Council Giant Pumpkin Competition, we decided to run a house contest as well, with house points being awarded to each team, on a sliding scale 1st to 4th, for the largest pumpkin.
Each house now has its own pumpkin care team, put together from Gardening Club members and non-member volunteers. These teams have been split into pairs and the pairs will take it in turn to care for their pumpkin plants and any subsequent fruit. What I haven’t told the teams as yet, is that additional points will also be awarded for attendance with points deducted for those team members who decide not to turn up for their duty (unless for reason of illness or having to do work with/for the teacher). It was fascinating to watch the planting of the pumpkins and the surreptitious way in which the teams surveyed each others plants. Team Blue were thrilled to see that one of their plants had the first female flower forming – all the other plants have male flowers only at the moment. It will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next few months.
It’s starting to get busy in the school garden …..