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Posts Tagged ‘kids school holiday activities’

garden-blueberries

Blueberries are dark, sweet, delicious and often quite expensive; they are a cousin to our native Winberry, (also known as the blaeberrie, bilberrie, whortleberrie or huckleberrie) which can be found growing on moors amongst the heather and are ready to pick July-September. I think Winberries have a better flavour and are sweeter but not everyone is fortunate to have them growing nearby, if this is the case why not try growing your own Blueberries, which are now regarded as a ‘super fruit’ as they are extremely high in antioxidants and vitamins (especially Vitamin C) so have many health benefits.

Blueberry pants can be bought from Garden Centres, Nurseries or by Mail Order either to grow in pots or to plant in the garden.

Blueberries prefer an acid soil with a pH level of 5.5 or below this can be measured with a pH meter or a Soil pH testing kit, if your soil conditions are suitable add plenty of acidic organic matter such as pine needles, composted conifer clippings or ericaceous compost when planting. They prefer a sunny sheltered position and are best watered with rainwater whenever possible. If your garden soil is not acidic Blueberries will happily grow in pots in ericaceous compost, for young plants choose one that is at least 30cm (12in) in diameter, then move into a 45-50cm (18-20in) container when it is outgrows the first one, place some crocks/pieces of polystyrene in the bottom of the containers to help retain moisture.

Plant two different varieties of Blueberries to ensure cross-pollination, a single plant will produce fruit but yields will be higher and fruits bigger if more than one plant is grown. Use netting to protect ripening fruit from birds, not all the fruit ripens at the same time the berries are ready to pick when they are deep blue and can easily be pulled off.

Blueberries produce fruit on previous years branches, young plants will not need pruning for the first two or three years, after this prune between November and March take out any dead, dying and diseased branches first then one or two of the oldest branches at the base especially any low branches to create an upright bush.

My three container grown Blueberry plants are now in their third year and I am hopeful that I will have a good crop this year.

Why not make this a half term holiday project with each child having their own Blueberry plant, they could even give it a name!

Have a fun half term

Gill

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If you are an enthusiastic gardener, enjoy being outdoors or simply love getting hands on with the children…

Why not join our Club?

I am sure you are familiar with our Gardening With Children Club which was launched with the Gardening With Children website in 2009, the Club was originally open to Schools and Community Associations that support children, now we have extended it to families (including grandparents, aunts and uncles), carers and child minders so that everyone in the family can enjoy all of the benefits that it has to offer.

Join the GWC Club

How can I join?

The Gardening With Children Club is FREE, simply click on the ‘Join the Gardening with Children Club’ icon that is shown above or on the pages on the Gardening With Children Website, fill in and submit your details on the application form.

You will receive a welcome email and an email with your special membership number that you should quote when entering competitions or taking advantage of our discounts or offers.

Why not join today?

Members will benefit from regular Special offers and discounts as well as the opportunity to enter exclusive member competitions with the chance to win wildlife and gardening prizes.

You will receive weekly/fortnightly blogs with help and information to keep you busy indoors and outdoors as well as a seasonal newsletters with lots of fun activities to make, cook and do during the school holidays.

Carrots

Enter our Family competition

For our first competition we would like you to show us what you have been growing in the garden with the children it could be fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, the winning entry will receive some fantastic wildlife prizes. This competition is only open to members, full details will be sent out via email when you join the Club.

What are you waiting for, join today and join in the fun!

Gill

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