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Food for Life - Schools Programme

                                                                                    

Growing Fruit and Veg

Strawberries

  • dig over soil, remove any weeds etc, add manure and dig in
  • plant the strawberries every 35cm (13in) in rows of 75cm (30in) apart
  • water well after planting
  • to deter slugs, put down pellets or grit or broken egg shells around each plant
  • you can also put a net over the strawberries to protect from birds etc
  • remove the strawberries when ripe, so they don’t rot and birds/slugs don’t get them

What you need

  • strawberry Plants
  • manure/well rotted compost
  • watering Can
  • trowel
  • hoe
  • slug pellets/net

Rhubarb

  • best put in free draining soil/partial shade
  • dig in plenty of manure/well rotted compost.
  • make hole slightly bigger than rhubarb plant. The Depth should be so that the plant is level or just under soil surface
  • gently firm and water well in
  • space each plant about 75cm (30in) apart for small varieties, and 120cm (48in) for larger plants
  • when leaves have died, put some more compost/manure around the plant base to help conservewater and suppress weeds
  • remove dead leaves/stalks in early spring to generate new growth
  • remember the leaves on the Rhubarb are toxic/poisenous so be careful to dispose of them properly

What you need

  • spade
  • rhubarb plants/seeds
  • compost/manure
  • fork
  • trowel

Potatoes

  • potatoes from seed are to plant out when the shoots are 1.5 – 2.5cm (0.5 – 1 in) high
  • dig a trench about 7.5 – 13cm (3-5in) deep from mid March – April in your raised bed
  • can add small amounts of fertilizer to trench before planting
  • plant about 30cm (12in) apart with 40 – 50cm (16 – 20in) between rows
  • plant the potatoes with shoots pointing upwards lightly cover with soil
  • when shoots appear, mound up soil to cover top of shoots, do this regular
  • your potatoes should be ready for lifting from June – September, depending on variety/growing condition

What you need

  • seed potatoes
  • spade
  • seed trays

Carrots

  • dig soil over in late winter/early spring, rake to a fine texture. Carrots prefer to be in a sunny spot/soil to be stone free
  • no need to add manure or compost to soil. One week before planting add some fertilizer to the bed
  • sow seeds thinly in shallow holes about 2 – 3cm (1in) deep, covering the seeds with soil if planting early seeds in march – april may need protecting with a cloche or fleece
  • once seeds have germinated and are showing, thing out to 5cm (2in) between plants
  • keep well watered during growing as dry soil can produce coarse, woody roots
  • remove carrots when big enough to eat from June/July onwards 

What you need

  • carrot seeds
  • fork
  • general fertilizer
  • rake

Peas

  • dig over bed adding well rotted manure/compost
  • plant seeds in a flat trench 5cm (2in) deep and 25cm (10in) wide. Water trench first before adding seeds
  • sow seeds 5- - 7cm (2in) apart
  • peas are climbers and can reach above 200cm (80in) in height. Put in support canes before plants get too heavy
  • regular picking is a must for fresh peas, harvest from bottom of plant upwards
  • no need to pull out roots when crop finished as roots are full of nitrogen fixing bacteria, just cut off top stems at surface level

What you need

  • peas
  • canes/plant supports
  • hoe

Beans

  • dig over bed, add leaf mould or well rotted manure
  • prop up support canes by pushing into soil and tying together at the top using twine/string, secure with a horizontal cane between props
  • sow singular beans 4cm (1.5in) deep in a pot filled with multi-purpose compost, water and store in poly tunnel or window sill
  • when germinated, plant out about three weeks later, planting a single plant to each cane
  • don’t forget to label your pots

What you need

  • 2.4m (8ft) canes
  • bean seeds
  • 7.5cm (3in) pots
  • multi-purpose compost
  • watering can
  • trowel
  • labels

Onions/Garlic

  • texture of soil is important and good drainage.  Dig in well rotted manure and sand or grit
  • plant onion sets 10cm apart from late winter to mid spring.  Push gently into the soil until tips are showing
  • plant shallots 15cm apart from late winter to early spring
  • garlic likes the sun and fairly rich ground
  • plant bulbs vertically 10cm apart in late autumn or early spring to th edepth of the bulb
  • when leaves turn yellow lift the bulbs and spread them to dry in a cool place

What you need

  • onion, shallot & garlic bulbs 
  • sand or grit
  • well rotted manure
  • general fertiliser
  • fork/trowel
  • gloves

Lettuce

  • prior to planting in the autumn dig in plenty of well rotted manure.  Fork in general fertiliser then rake to create a fine seed bed
  • young plants do not tansplant well in dry weather
  • sow seed sparingly in 1.5cm deep drills
  • thin to final spacing when strong enough to handle
  • germination of lettuce seed can sometimes be poor, you may prefer to sow the seed in modules
  • water well after both sowing and planting.  Moisture is vital to success
  • hoe around plant and hand weed regularly to remove weeds

What you need

  • seed Compost
  • lettuce Seed
  • rake
  • watering can
  • well rotted manure/general fertiliser
  • hoe 

Apples

  • they suit the british climate and prefer rich, moist, well drained soil
  • easily grown on drawf stock in large pots
  • apples are best grown as espaliers as they benefit from the protection of a warm fence or wall
  • well established trees in containers can be planted at any time of th eyear if roots aren´t damaged
  • there are no special requirements except the graft (the distinctive swelling on the stem) is not planted beneath the soil
  • water generously to help establish and make good growth and  add a heavy mulch

What you need

  • apple Tree
  • multi-purpose compost
  • watering can
  • spade/fork
  • gloves

Raspberries

  • one of the easiest fruits to care for and, as they flower late, it is possible to get good crops in areas other fruits fail
  • plant in rich, well dug soil
  • moisture is vital as is good drainage
  • plant canes 60cm apart in rows 2m apart spread roots wide and cover to a maximum depth of 5cm.  Make sure soil around plants is very firm
  • after planting cut the canes back to within 25cm of the soil so that there will be plenty of young growth to fruit the following year
  • The brittle canes are easily trained on pairs of wires stretched between garden stakes 2.5-3m apart.  Set wires 60cm and 1.5m from ground
  • spread grass cuttings or straw over bed in spring to conserve moisture and supress weeds
  • keep birds away with netting

What you need

  • raspberry canes
  • fork/hand fork
  • horticultural grit
  • garden stakes
  • wire
  • pliers
  • secateurs
  • sledgehammer
  • garden netting
  • mulch
  • watering can
  • well rotted manure

Blueberries

  • acid soil, suitable for heathers and rhododendrons, is essential to successfully grow blueberries
  • a substitute of peat and leaf mould will be productive if such conditions aren´t available
  • in a garden with alkaline soil, blueberries should be grown in containers filled with ericaceous compost or they will not survive
  • blueberries are most productive if you grow different varieties together to ensure cross pollination and heavier fruiting with bigger fruits
  • blueberries are generally pest and disease free and require little pruning or training.  Remove dead or damaged growth in the winter
  • water copiously for good crops but avoid tap water which might contain lime.  Use rain water which is naturally acidic
  • mulch heavily with chipped bark to maintain the acidity of the soil, retain moisture and suppress weeds
  • keep birds from fruit with netting

What you need

  •  blueberries (different varieties)
  • ericaceous compost
  • scissors
  • watering can
  • hand fork
  • chipped bark mulch
* got any tips or recipes, add them by creating a comment on our Veggie Blogs page.