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riverlands cloches

Kids’ Edible Gardens Update

Riverlands School

Children at Riverlands School began last term’s ‘Edible Gardens’ sessions by introducing both themselves and their garden to Mrs A: their new gardening facilitator!  While walking around the garden and showing Mrs A the vegetables growing in it, they also checked for seeds that could be saved for future plantings.  They found some bean seeds inside their dried-out pods.  Together they picked them, and put them into a bag to store for planting out in the spring.

Having not been used for a number of weeks, the garden needed tidying.  While the students were weeding, they discussed the topic of composting, and learnt that it was all about putting goodness back into the garden.  Investigating further, they talked about the types of materials that can be added to the compost heap, and what to leave out and why.

Pretend seedlingsThe following week, the children started adding compost to their gardens in preparation for planting new seedlings and seeds.  The children found a HUGE worm and were fascinated, watching how the worm moved its body back into the soil.  This led to a long discussion about worms: how they decompose the food they eat; what they do for the soil; and why we need them in our garden.

With the gardens dug over, lettuce seedlings were transplanted.  The topic for the week was plant protection, so recycled clear plastic bottles were transformed into mini cloches and were placed over the seedlings.  The cloches will protect the seedlings from frost, and keep them warm in the cooler weather.  For a bit of fun, the children crouched under a large piece of plastic and pretended to be seedlings protected from the weather!

The last week was spent cleaning the garden tools.  Using scrubbing brushes and tooth brushes to clean all the mud off, the children now have clean tools to start the planting season, and they have learnt the names of the different kinds of garden tools, too.