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Know Your Veg Simple Guide to Growing Fun Things To Do Stuck? Ask the Expert Dots
Know your Veg
Recommended equipment
Lightweight Proper Tools Hand Forged Stainless Steel

Adult spade,Digging fork&rake for you the teacher!

Budding Gardener Childrens Tools for the pupils

Childrens Gardening Gloves for the pupils

Polythene or fleece to warm up the soil.

Pegs to secure the fleece and polythene into the ground.

Twine for marking out lengths. 


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Deciding Your Type of Vegetable Garden
Begin by deciding where and what type of vegetable garden to create. Will you be using part of the school grounds or will you be putting containers in a corner of the school playground?  If you are going to use part of the school grounds, it is essential to get the ground ready well in advance of planting.

Clearing Turf
Mark out the length and width of the plot using twine or a long length of hose pipe. Then comes the hard part where adult help will be essential. The turf has to be taken off completely. Slice it off and put upside down in an out of the way spot. Make a pile of turf. Put the next layer of turf on top of the first, keeping the grass underneath each layer. Cover the turf with an old carpet. This will increase the warmth in the heap and increase the speed of decomposition. By piling up the turf in this way, the grass will decompose and eventually form useful compost. Keep soil away from the top of the carpet otherwise grass and weeds will start to grow on it.

Digging The Ground
Once the surface is cleared of all turf, it needs to be dug over thoroughly. Start at one end and dig a long trench, removing the earth to the level of a spade's depth. Place this in a wheelbarrow or on a ground sheet. Put a thin layer of well rotted manure or compost at the bottom of the trench. Then dig another trench parallel to the first. Put the soil you remove from the second trench into the first one, covering up the manure. If the soil is a heavy clay, break up the soil in the bottom of each trench with a fork to improve drainage. You can easily identify heavy clay soil as it will stick together when you pick it up in your hand and make it into a ball.

Continue digging trenches and filling the previous one in until you reach the end of the plot. The final trench should be filled in with the soil taken from the first trench. Rake over the soil breaking down any large clods. The surface of the soil needs to be a fine and an easily dug mixture.

Removing Weeds As You Go
While digging look out for any perennial weeds such as thistles, dandelions, nettles and couch grass. Remove every scrap of these weeds, including all pieces of root. They can re-grow from even the tiniest piece of root.  Keep them separate and burn them. Do not put on a compost heap.

Remove any large stones or other debris.

Warm Up The Soil
Cover the plot with polythene or fleece. This will warm up the ground ready for planting. The soil needs to be warm if seeds are to germinate. Fasten down the polythene with heavy stones or pegs otherwise it will fly away in high winds.
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Plan your school Garden
National Curriculum linked classroom lesson plans
Fact Sheets - Getting Started

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