We recently had an enquiry from Paula in Yorkshire. Here is her question along with our advice.
“I have got to take a class of Key Stage 4 pupils with learning difficulties for a modular allotment session each week during the first half of the autumn term. What can I grow in that limited time?”Hi Paula,It’s always tricky planning gardening activities with children when you have only a few weeks to see the results.BulbsThere are the obvious things to plant such as bulbs. Outdoor varieties can be planted straight into the ground and provide a nice surprise in early spring when the rest of the garden is still dormant. The children can also plant their own bulb in a pot to take home. Indoor varieties of hyacinths, narcissi and crocus are nice. Always choose good quality bulbs and ones particularly suited to being forced indoors – the labels will tell you.Then take a pot, place a few bits of broken crocks or small stones at the bottom for drainage, half fill with moist compost and then position the bulbs so that the top of the bulb reaches the rim of the container. Water thoroughly from the top.Then put in a cool dark place such as an unheated garage. Keep the soil moist and in 12 to 16 weeks when the shoots are 2 to 3 inches above the pot move the pots to an unheated space and place in indirect light. Don’t allow them to dry out. In a week or two the pots can then be given to the children to take home where they can put them on a sunny window sill and enjoy the flowers.Growing Herbs on Window SillsPots of herbs can be sown in moist compost and cultivated indoors. Parsley and Sweet Fennel in particular are successful in autumn. This herb pot holds 4 herbs and has its own self watering systems which is handy.Sowing Winter SaladsOur selection of winter salad seeds can be planted now and will grow all through winter months.Making Leaf Mould CompostKids always love raking leaves. You can collect them into one of these leaf mould composters and next year you will have a great soil improver for your raised bedsGood luck with your half term of gardening