- seed trays
- spray can to keep the soil moist
- fertiliser - such as tomato feed
Creating your own garden
To grow your plants you will need
1. Children and staff brainstorm reasons for creating a garden in the school grounds. Get children to research the benefits.
2. Survey your site. What is there already? Measure the area. Take photographs. Get the children to make a wish list of what they would like to be in the garden, with reasons for their choices. It might not be possible or appropriate to include everything in your garden.
3. Use this activity to get the children to decide what is most important. Find images of the suggestions on their list. Mount onto paper with a wide border. Display round the classroom. Tell the pupils that they are going to move round the room and choose an image, which represents their first, second, third, fourth and fifth choice. These can be identified with dots of a specified colour stuck on to the border. Make sure everyone in the school has a go at this.
4. Count up the dots. Use the data to create bar charts to indicate the top five choices. Display these for everyone in the school and visitors to see.
5. Inform your local community of the ideas and plans. Talk to your school governors. Let parents know via your newsletter - you'll definitely find some willing volunteers, prepared to get their hands mucky! Contact local garden centres or nurseries. Let the local press know what you are doing. Involving everyone will get the best results for now and in the future.
6. Start small! Don't try to get everything in to the garden at once. Work on one area at a time; identify solutions and actions for this area. You could make some plans and drawings. You can expand the garden when you are sure of practical and financial support.
7. Get funding. This isn't crucial as much can be done with some good publicity and enthusiastic volunteers. It can be an on going process and could include school fund raising events such as non-school uniform days, fetes, etc.
8. GET STARTED! Good luck - have fun!
9. Monitor and evaluate what you have done and how it has been achieved. Are you happy with what you have done? Are there things that you will change when working on the next area?
Health and Safety
Write a risk assessment for your garden
When using sharp tools such as spades and forks, children need to be well supervised, a ratio of 1:4 is suitable. BTCV and gardens centres sell junior spades and forks for practical work. It advisable for that everyone wears gloves while gardening. Make sure that cuts are covered up and hands are washed afterwards.
If there is a pond, ensure that the area is well fenced off. Devise a code of conduct for working near water. Be aware of water borne diseases. Do not allow children to pond dip if they have cuts or sores or get them to wear plastic gloves. Make sure that children wash their hands after pond dipping. Do not allow them to eat whilst working in the pond environment.
Some plants can be harmful. You may be working with poisonous plants such as foxgloves, daffodil bulbs and bluebells. Devise a code of conduct for your garden, nothing should be eaten unless permission has been given. Some plants can be irritants or prickly, such as nettles and brambles. These are excellent for encouraging wildlife. If planted, make sure they are away from paths so access is not easy. Don't be put off planting. Investigate what is going into your garden and advise accordingly.
Before you start work check for cat or dog excrement. There is a risk of Toxocariasis infection caused by a parasitic worm found in dog faeces and Toxoplasmosis from cats. Remove! Ensure that gloves are won when working in the garden and hands are washed.
Check for any hazardous litter, such as broken glass. Remove!
Consider the terrain, trip hazards and the stability of anything to be stood or sat on.
Don't forget weather conditions. Ensue that children are appropriately dressed for rain or shine!