The children have been very busy since September working in the garden with Cherry Sleeman, (Jamie’s and Chloe’s granny). They have also learnt a lot about growing plants and gardening:
On 19th September 1st class started the years’ work by harvesting some of our crops. They dug up some potatoes and they picked the apples and raspberries. On 26th September the 6th class continued harvesting. They brought in the ornamental gourds. They also refreshed the soil in the flowerpots at the front of the school and planted heathers and pansies.
In October, 5th class made delicious apple tarts with our own cooking apples. They collected the remainder of the potatoes and raspberries and then they planted broad bean seeds in pots. Also in October, 4th class prepared the pots at another entrance to our school. They refreshed the soil and planted lots of bulbs. Also in October children in 6th class planted crocuses in memory of children who had died in the holocaust.
In November the pots in the central courtyard were weeded by Senior Infants. Senior Infants also put new soil in the pots and planted bulbs.
In November 4th class did amazing work weeding and cleaning the vegetable beds. They were then very busy cleaning seed from the wild flowers and planting over 200 bluebells in the wood near the Junior Infants playground.
On 21st November, Junior Infants planted out the cabbage plants and did some weeding and collecting of seeds from the wildflowers. They checked out the herb bed to see what everything smelt of and checked the bug hotel for bugs.
In November, 2nd class discussed how their tomato growing project had gone over the summer. Each child had taken home a tomato plant. There were some great successes. More weeding was done and onion sets were planted out in the garden.
In December, 3rd class finished the year with more weeding and tidying up for the winter break.
In January, Junior Infants started with great enthusiasm filling little pots with pea seeds. They took great care making sure each pea seed was under the blanket nice and warm – under the soil. They filled egg boxes with First Early Potatoes showing ‘eyes up’ so they are ‘chitted’ before planting.
In February, Third Class planted Sweet Pea seeds in a deep seed tray as they have long roots. They planted out more onion sets in the vegetable beds and split up some garlic plants not harvested from last year. An experiment was conducted of covering the rhubarb to ‘force it’.
Some worthy representatives from 6th class came and sieved soil and barrowed it into the vegetable beds removing all the rocks and stones.
Also in February, 5th class completed really hard digging in, turning over and weeding the soil in the wild flower bed. They took care in planting 2 types of tomato seed, Gardener’s Delight and Red Tumbler. The tomatoes will holiday in Wicklow on the heated propagator until they germinate and then return to be potted on at a later date.
It is such a pleasure to spend time with the classes in Whitechurch NS, who are so enthusiastic and interested and to have such support from all the staff. With the shortage of time it is sometimes difficult for a class to see and to harvest what they have planted so we need to think about how we can improve that.