Posts Tagged ‘kids gardening’

Following our Easter break it is now all about pots and propagators.

I tend to sow most of my seeds in April with the exception of Chilli and Sweet peppers which are quite slow to grow and germinate, these were sown in early March and are now ready to be potted up individually into small pots (click here for a guide to growing Chilli Peppers).

Red Chillies

The following were the first to go into my two propagators:

Tomatoes – a must, packed full of flavour and goodness they are so healthy, I usually grow different varieties, cherry/mini plum tomato (perfect for lunch boxes and for putting on skewers on the BBQ) , medium size tomato (general use), large fleshy tomato (for soups/chutneys) and hanging basket tomatoes (handy by the back door, they look great too). Click here for a guide to growing tomatoes.











Watercress – easy to grow and doesn’t need running water it has a lovely peppery flavour great in salads or if you grow plenty Watercress Soup, its rich in Vitamin C (click here for a guide to growing Watercress).

Watercress close

Cosmos – one of my favourite flowers and loved by Bees and Insects, planted in groups they make a stunning display and can be cut to enjoy indoors.

All of the above seeds have germinated and are growing on nicely they will be ready to pot on when their first set of true leaves have grown,

they have now been replaced in the propagator with:

Basil, Parsley, Coriander – essential summer herbs for salads or cooking


Sweet Corn – pick then cook and eat as soon as possible before the sugar turns to starch, shop bought simply doesn’t compare to home grown

Butternut Squash – not something I have grown before but can be boiled, roasted, mashed and made into soup, they store well for winter use

these will then be replaced with:

Salad Leaves – a summer essential

Frilly Lettuce

Cucumbers – you can’t have a salad without cucumber, home grown are delicious (click here for a guide to growing cucumbers)

Courgettes –easy to grow and will produce a big crop until the first winter frosts

Pumpkins – I always grow these for Halloween but they can be made into soup, pies and cakes, don’t forget to roast the seeds (click here for a guide to growing Pumpkins)

T's Halloween Pumpkin

Sunflowers – the flower of Summer, loved by bees and insects the seeds can be dried to feed to the birds, this year I am planning to grow a ‘crop’ on my allotment (click here for a guide to growing Sunflowers)

Sunflower 1

Many of the above can be sown directly outside but they simply will not grow if it is too cold, I wouldn’t be without my propagators and would recommend them to anyone, the constant gentle temperature really does make a difference to the germination rate of your seeds.

Click here to learn more about growing in propagators.

Growing your plants from seed is easy and very economical and to many children it is pure magic!

 The essential heated propagator

Why not enter our free competitions for a chance to win your own propagator (click here for full details) or one for your School (click here for full details) hurry, the closing date for both competitions is Wednesday 30th April.

Good Luck


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Sowing Seeds is fun. The key to a successful crop is good germination, this can be achieved by sowing seeds indoors especially in a Propagator which will provide the perfect environment for your seeds to grow.

Why not have a go at our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website for a chance to win your own Heated Electric Propagator.

1.  In the Family Zone and Kids Zone

To enter our competition simply:

Tell us what you like to grow in your propagator and why?

The winning entry will receive an

Essentials Heated Propagator 38cm

 The essential heated propagator - 38cm

 The essential heated propagator - 38cm

and a selection of small seed trays, flower pots and labels.

For full details and your entry form take a look here.

2.  In the School Zone

Have a look at our Propagator Wordsearch and find the following ten hidden words.











The first correct entry drawn out of the hat will receive an

Essentials Heated Propagator 52cm

 The essential heated propagator

and a selection of seed trays, small flower pots and labels.

For full details, the Propagator Wordsearch and your entry form take a look here in the School Zone.
The closing date for both competitions is 30th April, 2014.
Good Luck

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If you have had a look at The Recycleworks website you may have seen the range of Raised Bed Tools, they are made by Sneeboer who are a Dutch company that is honoured to carry the label “By Appointment to the King of the Netherlands”, each tool is made from hand forged stainless steel and produced to a very high quality.

As a keen gardener I have got a good selection of tools but I don’t have a Mattock and was quite intrigued with them when we received our first delivery of tools last year.

Sneeboer Mattock Garden Tool

The Mattock is a double sided tool which means that it is two tools in one making it very economical and also very practical when you are gardening; the stainless steel head consists of a flat bladed hoe at one side with a three pronged fork opposite.

The Hoe can be used to break up and loosen soil with a pulling action as well as removing weeds, once weeded the soil needs to be raked (using the fork) to remove large lumps of soil and stones and then leveled, now you are ready for planting/sowing.

Use the Hoe to dig out planting Holes or make Seed drills using the corner of the blade, for larger seeds such as Peas make a shallow trench using the Hoe or make a furrow if you are planting potatoes, once your potatoes have come through use the Hoe again to earth them up (cover the leaves with soil). The compact size of the head makes weeding between your crops very easy.

I am very impressed with the Mattock it is a well-balanced lightweight tool that is easy to use, the ash handle is warm and comfortable to hold, it will stand up to lots of wear and tear and last a lifetime, I would definitely recommend one, they are ideal for using in Raised Beds and smaller gardens. On Friday evening whilst watching a popular gardening programme on television I noticed that one of the presenters was using a spade made by Sneeboer this confirms how good these tools are, have a look at our full range here.

 Sneeboer childrens garden tool selection


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Oranges are always a favourite at our house, especially Tangerines at Christmas but wouldn’t it be nice to grow your own Orange Tree.

Oranges and Lemons

Many children will not have seen oranges growing on trees except in books, on the television or maybe in garden centres. If you have a bit of time and a lot of patience (it can take 8 years for a tree to produce an orange) why not have a go at growing your own tree from pips that you have collected.

How to Grow your own Orange Tree

Peel your orange and break into segments, hold each segment up to the light you should be able to see the pips inside, carefully split the skin and remove the pips.

Rinse the pips in warm water (keep your pips moist this helps them to germinate).

Sowing Orange pips

Fill some small pots with compost and plant your pips about 1-1.5cm deep, one or two to a pot.

Water lightly to moisten the compost but not too much to make it soggy.

Make a label recording the date, what and how many seeds you have sown.

If you have a propagator put your pots inside and place on a warm, bright windowsill, alternatively push 2/3 sticks into the compost around the edge of the pot and cover with a plastic bag, tie loosely with string around the pot or use a rubber band.

At night remove your pots from the windowsill as it can become quite cold especially if you have the curtains closed, returning them during the day.

Check regularly that the compost is moist, once your seedlings appear remove their protective cover and place in a sunny position avoiding the midday sun.

Re-pot your plants individually as they grow.

When your plants are much larger stand them in a conservatory or porch or outside on a sheltered patio in warm weather during the summer bringing them inside, before any frosts, for the winter.

Why not try growing lemon or grapefruit pips too?

Have fun!


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Thank you to everyone that entered our October/November Competitions, we had lots of entries correctly identifying the fruits and vegetables in the cryptic questions and pictures, well done to you all, it just shows how much you know about the fruit and vegetables that you grow and eat.

The Schools Competition winner was Molly Potter from St Botolph’s C of E Primary School, Northfleet, Kent, they will receive a Wooden Raised Bed and module complete with accessories, this will be a perfect starter Raised Bed for their School Gardening Club.

Classic Wooden Raised Bed 90cm x 90cm

The Family Competition Winner was Matthew Lemin, Age 5, from Warminster and he will receive a

Raised Bed on Legs

photo 5
We hope that he enjoys growing lots of fruit, vegetables and flowers next year, it will make a lovely early Christmas present.
If you are stuck for Christmas presents for young gardeners and wildlife lovers click here for some great ideas, don’t be disappointed order as soon as you can they are all proving very popular.
This years top gift is the Hogitat an instant cosy and natural home for the hedgehogs in your garden.
The Hogitat Hedgehog House
Happy Shopping

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Time is running out to enter our current three free children’s competitions with just over a week left before the closing date of 30th November 2013, don’t miss out send in your entries asap.

At The Recycleworks we are passionate about encouraging children of all ages and abilities to learn where their food comes from and how to grow their own.

If you think you know your fruit and vegetables why not have a go at first two competitions for a chance to win some of our famous Wooden Raised Beds.

Competition 1  In the Family Zone and Kids Zone

We are constantly developing new products, our latest range for young gardeners is called

Toddlers Own, Real Gardening Range

as the title suggests these are real working gardening products just like mum and dad would use and not toys, as a preview to this new range we are giving you the chance to win a

Raised Bed on Legs

photo 5
These Raised Beds are lovingly made for you to our usual high standard in fcs wood and measure 57cm x 57cm externally with a height of 45cm approx. The growing tray has a generous depth of 24cm making it suitable for a wide variety of plants, a liner is also included to retain the soil and optimize drainage.
Children will love growing their favourite fruit, flowers and vegetables in their own ‘Raised Bed’ and at their own height making gardening easier and great fun.
All you need to do is to identify which fruit or vegetable is shown in the five photographs, then send in your answers on the entry form before the closing date of 30th November 2013. Click here for full details and your entry form.
Fruit and Vegetable Picture Quiz












Competition 2  In the School Zone

Gardening is now becoming an important part of the School curriculumn, to get your school garden off to a great start we are giving you the chance to win a Wooden Raised Bed and module complete with accessories.
All you need to do is to have a look at our Quiz and see if you can work out which vegetable or fruit we are describing, then send in your answers on the entry form before the closing date of 30th November 2013. Click here for full details and your entry form.
Vegetable and Fruit Quiz

1.  We are usually green or black and hang around in bunches.

2.  I grow in the ground and it is often said that I can help you see in the dark.

3.  I am yellow and although I have ears I cannot hear, I am delicious cooked on the BBQ.

4.  You often find me growing in the greenhouse I can either be very hot or sweet to eat.

5.  I am round and orange and you usually see me at Halloween.

6.  Jack planted me, and climbed me to seek the giant and steal his treasure.

7.  I am sweet and red and have my seeds on the outside; I am often eaten with cream.

8.  We are small, round and green and grow together in pods.

9.  I am usually grown in hot countries, I am yellow with a dimply skin but I am sour to eat.

10. I have a white head, surrounded by green leaves I am often eaten with a cheese sauce.

Competition 3  The Recycleworks Competition – November 2013

This month’s competition is all about Mangers and Cribs. Mangers are everywhere you look at the moment, they come in all sizes for Christmas.

As a guide:

Large Family Cribs for School, for Church and for the Village Hall

Deep Cribs for smaller spaces with an intimate audience

Standard Cribs go into a mock stable and

Trough Cribs are for baby doll figures

What you can win

For our November Competition we are offering Three Prizes, with three lucky winners each receiving a Manger.

We are offering one each of the Deep Manger, The Standard Manger and the Trough. The first winner will have a choice of size, the second winner can chose from the remaining two sizes. The third winner will receive the remaining Trough/Manger. In addition we will add a surprise of our choice.

What you need to do?

Each Manger will store flat until the next Christmas but we hope that you will use yours in spring to grow something edible.

Tell us what you would grow to eat next year in the Manger of your choice if you are a winner.

Manger sizes: Trough x 60cm long, Deep Manger and Standard Manger x 90cm long.

Send in your entries to us by email (sylvia@recycleworks.co.uk) before the closing date of 30th November 2013.

Good Luck

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Many children have been learning about the first and second World Wars at school, this Monday is Remembrance Day it is also known as Armistice Day or Poppy Day, it is a memorial day celebrated by all the commonwealth countries to honour and remember the brave civilians and members of the armed forces. November 11th was selected to commemorate the end of World War 1 in 1918, the war officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month it was at this time that the Germans signed the Armistice which ended it officially.

The Poppy is a significant part of this day because of the world famous poem ‘In Flanders Field’ written by Lt Colonel John McRae, it is a poem about his experience on the battlefields which were filled with bright red poppies and so it is now a symbol of Remembrance Day.

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War 1 next year, The Royal British Legion in partnership with B & Q has launched The Centenary Poppy Campaign to get people to sow millions of ‘Flanders’ Poppy Seeds in gardens throughout Britain, the seeds are available now and for each packet purchased a donation will be made to The Royal British Legion who is the UK’s leading Service charity providing care and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

How to grow your Poppies

When – Sow your Poppy Seeds from March to June or from September to October. They will flower in the summer months – June, July, August.

Where – Poppies like to grow outside, sow them in the garden in a sunny position where they are to flower or if you are short of space they can be grown in pots of compost.

How – Rake the soil until it is fine and crumbly, removing any lumps, stones or weeds. The seeds can either be scattered thinly or thinly sown in rows, lightly rake the soil to lightly cover the seeds, and water in.

Aftercare – As they begin to grow thin out the seedling so that the plants are 15-25cm apart, remove any weeds and water during dry weather.

Poppies are not only beautiful they are beneficial to Bees and Insects too.

Dave Moretta does one a day

Dave is the local guy with a big heart and a resolute character, he is running a marathon in memory of 18 of his colleagues he has served with and who lost their lives serving the country, he is running not just one marathon but eighteen in a row, daily. Have a look at his Facebook page by clicking here. He finishes on Remembrance Sunday. You will see why he is so motivated. He would be overjoyed if you were to donate a small contribution to his cause. Thank you.


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