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Where to begin with our new primary school greenhouse? We have a Gardening Club and are excited to have a new greenhouse, but what would be recommended for young children, some easy short term results to keep them interested, and ideas for what equipment should we start fundraising for? Thanks!!
I too run a gardening club in a Primary school and should love a greenhouse. What about some lettuces to start; overwintering your geraniums etc (- we are using window sills all over school for ours and other things we have propagated); give your bulbs a head start - we've just planted up some and have hidden them away from the squirrels/foxes until they get their roots down.
I want to get a heated propagator for next year....so we can sow a wider range of seeds with more success.
Just dropped a line to give you the link to my 3 year old's website she started earlier this year. On there are things she wanted to try and grow this year and all of the things have kept her interested. We are mainly veggie gardeners, and I ashamedly admit I have not updated the site for a couple of months due to lack of time. But it will give you a bit of an idea how long some things take to germinate and grow.
As we are veggie gardeners, most of the stuff on there can't be done until next year now again, but it might give you an idea for planning ahead next year. Most seeds can be started off feb/march time. We did ours way too late. It's our first year.
Hope it helps a little,
Note to self: Update website!
If you are anywhere near the West Midlands we may be able to help, as we are looking for schools to run a pilot operation of our growing systems, we are already installing systems at Alvechurch Middle school in the early spring. Check us out at www.hanginggardenuk.com
Or you should find some tips on Jamie Olivers website on school kitchen gardens.
Best of luck
Sheelagh, you may already know that the RHS has a whole bit dedicated to school gardens. It costs nothing to join and there are project suggestions, seed trials and all sorts of things.Don't know what age yours are, mine were key stage 2. Small border forks were extremely useful at certain times of the year, reasonable quality hand trowels and forks were in constant use, shears and secateurs were popular (and useful) as they're the kind of thing children are often not trusted to handle these days. Gardening gloves in the littlest sizes, a couple of wheelbarrows or pull along trolleys, those bendy buckets in bright colours, a compost bin - and we even saved up for a wormery though you need to bear in mind the school holidays and whether it can be looked after. We also raised some of the money for a shed to store it in and the school secretary managed to wheedle the rest out of the head-teacher!Have lots of fun. I always reckoned that the whole curriculum could be taught through aspects of gardening and the children loved it because it was such a relaxed atmosphere, no pressure.
Good advice from Flobear .We are members of the RHS School Campaign. You work yourself through different levels and get freebies along the way (money when you get to level 3!!). Your school is also put on the country map with the level you are at denoted. If you access the site now, you could find out if there are any active schools in your area. They also give you a pack to run a 'Get your Grown Ups Day' when you can run a day where parents, staff can do some of the hard graft for you - we put together raised planters and planted them up in one afternoon.
It would be good if you could team up up with one of your secondary feeder schools - share local info, borrow equipment to get you started etc...visit the other schools for inspiration...We have also made contact with our local park and have helped plant bulbs/plants in the park.