School visits have started | Love The Garden

School visits have started

John Clowes's picture
By John Clowes, Gardening Guru

What a great time Jane and I have had in the last couple of weeks visiting some of the schools who are participating in the Miracle-Gro’wers Chelsea Challenge. Everyone is so enthusiastic and loving the addition of testing the benefits of compost, feeding and different care regimes.

Thanks to the organising skills of Sarah Dumont, who invited several schools in the Newton Abbot area of Devon along to Fermoys Garden Centre, we were able to talk about the progress of the Chelsea stands and to converse with ten different schools in one morning.

With the help of Peter Seabrook, who passed on some of his useful gardening tips to the pupils who came along, we had a useful exchange of information about plant growing progress. Fermoys also made available lots of garden seeds for use by the schools and everyone was delighted to pick out some great crops for their pupils to grow this spring. It was great to see new schools and some old friends at the workshop morning. The primary schools who came along included Landscove, Erme, Stoodley Knowle, Sherwell Valley, Brixham, Decoy and Torre plus secondary schools, Sidmouth College and St Peter’s.

School visits have startedSchool visits have started

In the afternoon we visited Bradley Barton School to learn of their experiments in feeding. We were fascinated to learn that some of their vegetables are being fed on worm compost juice and plain sugar in comparison to standard Miracle-Gro feeding. We look forward to seeing if these feeding supplements make a difference. Our final visit was to Chudleigh Knighton Primary School who were delighted to show us that their Gerbera Garvinea ‘Sweet Dreams’ and pink Dianthus ‘Rainbow Lovliness’ were in bloom already.

Further north last week we visited some Hertfordshire schools including Roebuck, Hobletts Manor, Abbots Langley, Countess Anne and Monk’s Walk. Plants were not so advanced, although the Gerbera Garvineas being grown by Hobletts Manor have produced a lot of buds, despite being treated tough instead of tenderly. Perhaps that’s the secret of success?

The scientific approach by pupils of Countess Anne school in Hatfield was riveting. Here’s a picture of some of the pupils with some of their pots of Swiss chard plants and the difference already with their chosen feeding regimes.

School visits have startedSchool visits have started

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