Budding Gardeners - supporting school garden projects
 
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GETTING STARTED - Frequently Asked Questions...

There are often so many questions to ask when thinking about a school gardening project. Here we have answered some of the main questions but if you don’t find all that you need below, then simply email Jo, the Head Gardener of the Harrod Horticultural Kitchen Garden Project at buddinggardeners@harrod.uk.com – she’s on hand to help!

How big and where should our garden be?
Your garden could be anything from a window box to a sizable plot. Size really doesn’t matter because education is your main purpose. A few plants is enough for experimental observations, a plot of 4m x 4m will give you a good harvest whilst anything bigger can be deemed a kitchen garden like our very own. Our best advice is to begin small because you can always expand later.

Limited or No Green Space At All?
Remember that it is possible to grow nearly anywhere if growing in a raised bed so this is a major advantage if your school grounds suffer from poor soil or if perhaps you don’t even have any green space at all! These are available from as small as 1m x 1m dimensions and you can expand to create your own design. Just fill up with garden centre compost to create your own plot!

What should we grow?
Remember to involve the children in this part of the decision making to give them a sense of project ownership. Follow our activity guide for ways to do this.

Once the group has decided on the vegetables to grow, use our hints and tips for growing vegetables and vegetable fact sheets to help you assess the practicalities. Think about timings. When do you hope to start the project and does this fit with the recommended growing time-frame for the chosen vegetables? Consider the situation of the garden plot, what weather conditions is it exposed to? Are these favoured by the chosen vegetables? What is the soil condition like? Again, will this suit the vegetables to be grown?

Who will do the work?
Give children the opportunities to take responsibility, make decisions, plan, organise work, collaborate, evaluate and publicise. Use class time to prepare these responsibilities. Adult volunteers can help do the heavier work. Parents, community members, caretaker and fellow teachers whose faculties (Science, Mathematics, Technology, etc.) could benefit from the project can be encouraged to get involved.

How much time will it take?
It is a good idea to use lessons for discussing and explaining, planning and organising work, setting up experiments and observations, and documenting garden activities and events (see our activity sheets ). A class needs about an hour of garden time and an hour of lesson time per week with a little “garden homework” in their own time.

What can we achieve with limited funds?
Keep it simple by doing something small such as windowsill growing or growing in containers. You’ll still get the benefits of experimentation with gardening and signing up for FREE for special school discounts with Harrod Horticultural will certainly help. If you are just starting out we have a shopping list of top 15 recommended products to get your school gardening club off the ground.

What if I only have limited gardening knowledge?
This needn’t be a barrier at all. This website has the basic step-by-step growing guidelines to help you through the various stages of planting, tending to plants and harvesting. Hints and tips on growing popular vegetables are also covered detailing when to grow, how to grow and what to look out for whilst we have fact sheets that will enlighten both teachers and pupils alike. There’s even a jargon buster page to make sure you are not lost among the gardening language! Remember, you are not alone, we have on-line support for you with our own Head Gardener, Jo, at buddinggardeners@harrod.uk.com who is at hand to cover any particular questions you may have that are not covered on this website.

 
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Plan your school Garden
National Curriculum linked classroom lesson plans
Fact Sheets - Getting Started

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