Fantastic news from the RHS Shows Department, that we have been accepted once again into the Great Pavilion at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and we have been allocated the size of stand we requested! So we will definitely be part of the Discovery area, now on the south side of the Pavilion nearer the Embankment/ Bull Ring entrance. Hurrah!
In the autumn I sent out Broad Beans Aquadulce Claudia and Swiss Chard Bright Lights to schools, plus Miracle-Gro composts and Miracle-Gro plant foods. I hope you get them sown soon, so that you can carry out some scientific growing experiments to show that different composts do make a difference to plant growth.
Last week I sent some carrots and some edible flowers to nearly 100 schools that have registered. Thanks to our friends at Thompson & Morgan, you should have received 1 of 19 different varieties of carrots that they offer in their spring catalogue. We plan to have all of these varieties on display in our School Kitchen/ Laboratory, so the visitors can see that all carrots are not the same! Hopefully we will have carrots that are yellow (Yellowstone); multi-coloured (Rainbow); short ones (Paris Market); long ones (Sweet Candle) pest resistant (Flyaway); and extra sweet (Sugarsnax and Tendersnax). But best of all we have Carrot Cosmic Purple and Purple Sun, because Peter Seabrook tells me that Prince Charles prefers the taste of purple carrots and they contain high levels of healthy antioxidants.
Soon you will be receiving some bags of Miracle-Gro Potting Mix so that you have some deep containers of compost that allows you to grow long carrots easily. For even deeper compost and even longer carrots you could top off the Potting Mix compost with a layer of Seed & Cutting Compost. Here are some pictures on how to sow carrot seeds evenly in the Potting Mix bags that are heading your way:
For any seeds that you have over, sow them in black plastic bags (at least 2 are on their way to you with the Compost), or deep pots about 3cm (1”) apart. The David Austin Rose Pot is great - it is plastic, has a 17cm square opening and is 24cm deep, so won’t split like terracotta when the carrots expand and deep enough to grow decent long roots. Any good compost will do!
Last bit of news for schools that are contemplating entering this Growing Challenge, is that we will be closing the registration document on the 14th February, as you need to get sowing by the end of February and we won’t have time to send you seeds and compost in time for necessary sowing dates.