The Land Rover Owners Wife

Gardening Club: Seeds are sown

2 Comments

Tomatoes and Winter Squash in the little planter, with sunken plant pots for watering.

Tomatoes and Winter Squash in the little planter, with sunken plant pots for watering.

Having left the compost and topsoil to settle for a couple of weeks, last Friday I finally helped the Foundation and Year 1 children sow the seeds in the largest of the new planters. Wearing their brand new little aprons and armed with a pair of gardening gloves, the 4 to 6 year olds came out in groups of 6 and listened carefully as I told them what they needed to do and I have to say that they were a pleasure to work with.

I have few rules when it comes to the Gardening Club, as I want the children to be able to enjoy themselves without being over regimented but the main ones are:

  • Don’t throw mud at each other;
  • Don’t water your classmates; and
  • Listen to what I say and follow my instructions carefully.

Certainly with the very youngest members of this particular class, I was concerned about their attention span and the potential for mischief but they were amazing: listening, asking questions, answering questions I asked them and helping each other if necessary. Each group was out for about 15 – 20 minutes (depending on the amount of time it took to fasten aprons and put on gloves) and by the end of the afternoon, we had a row of mixed lettuces, carrots and beetroots sown and watered in.

Lettuce, carrots and beetroot in this one.

Lettuce, carrots and beetroot in this one.

Unfortunately we ran out of time and so the last group of 6 had to wait until yesterday (Monday) for their turn. It was another hot day yesterday but by the time I arrived at the Foundation Unit to finish their planting session, the sun had moved around and the tree offered a degree of shade. As it turned out, one of my little gardeners was poorly but 5 excited little people hurried out, donned their aprons and waited for me to tell them what we were going to be doing. Between them and showing great care when handling the plants, my little group planted two tomato plants and a winter squash into the smaller planter and then helped ‘plant’ the empty plant pots which will aid the watering process.

There is still a gap in the little planter which needs planting – a job for my missing gardener I think. As it happens she was in the playground last night waiting with her Uncle, to collect her sister and brother. So we had a discussion:

“What do you want to plant in that space?” I asked her.

“Sweets!” she said with a cheeky grin.

After listing the choices available, she settled on one of the yellow mangetout plants, more out of curiosity than a like for that particular vegetable, I think and so I have sown some more mangetout and in a week or so, I will take the seedling to school and finally the little planter will be full.

It has taken a year from grant application completion to finally having the planters in operation but at last the Foundation Unit has its’ own little growing space up and running.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Gardening Club: Seeds are sown

  1. Wonderful! I’ve been running a gardening club at my daughters school for a term – I have to say it is pretty chaotic, as we have 10-12 children (aged 4-7) all at once for one hour after school. We always have fun, and I try to have a mix of activities so everyone isn’t trying to dig/water at the same time. But I’m having to let go of my usual gardening standards – we planted a bed of potatoes, and some are in holes about a foot deep, some are only just below the surface. But they’ve all come up (rather to my surprise!) I’ll be checking back for more school gardening inspiration…

    • Lol, I know what you mean. My usual group can be the full 12 members if they all choose to come. Usually I have between 6 to10 children (aged 6-10) at a session but the older ones help the younger ones. In fact the four year 5 girls (10 year olds) now have the job of watering the poly tunnel, container garden and courtyard gardens during morning breaks. They each have a section to do although 2 of them do the poly tunnel, 1 on growbags the other on seedlings. It’s been good to see that if one finishes their job first they immediately see if someone else needs a hand. They take it very seriously.

      The younger ones (ages 4-6) were dwarfed by the huge raised beds in the main vegetable patch which is why they now have their own space. Due to the rural nature of our school and its’ small size (less than 90 children) after school poses a problem and so I run three sessions per week during afternoon play and it’s amazing how much we can get done.

      Good luck with your club 🙂

Please feel free to leave a comment and I'll respond as soon as I can

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s