Pot Plants Help Children to Bloom

Article in The Times 22.6.19

times-article-22.6.19

 

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National Gardening Week 29.4 to 5.5

It’s National Gardening Week, with the theme of ‘Edible Britain’. Here are 5 top tips to help boost your gardening from Myles Edwards, Membership Director at Foresters Friendly Society:
1. Don’t pay for compost and mulches – make your own: You don’t need anything posh, a simple heap of grass cuttings, vegetable peelings and cardboard in a sunny corner of the garden will do. Add food waste and garden waste in roughly equal measures and make sure you turn it (i.e. mix it up) occasionally with a fork. It will take about six months to mature.
Use what’s around the house to help: Keen gardeners are often more than happy to give you cuttings or surplus seedlings, which will save you money. They may even lend you gardening tools, so you don’t need to buy your own. You can also use your old egg cartons for seedling pots. When it’s time to plant them, just separate the sections and plant them directly into the soil – the carton bits will just rot in the earth.

Slug solutions: To keep slugs off your plants, scatter crushed up eggshells or coffee granules around them – and try rubbing Vaseline around the top of pots. Safely monitoring for slugs and other insects can be a great way to engage the children in your life with the various creatures of the garden too.

Time allocation: When choosing what you want to grow, it’s advisable to speak to either another avid gardener or staff member at a garden centre. They’ll be best placed to answer any queries on what type of soil is best and how much sunlight, water and plant food is needed. Critically, they’ll also be able to guide you on how much care each plant or crop will need to grow in good condition, as this will vary depending on your choice.

Let’s talk about the weather: Depending on the season, the choice available and impact to their growth will change. For example, to combat months when plants aren’t receiving as much sunlight, putting an aluminium foil-covered board angled towards the sun next to them will really help reflect whatever light there is. In summer, making sure plants receive ample amounts of fresh water and some respite from the sun is key to avoid drying out in the heat. With all that hard labour taken care of, last thing on the agenda is to just sit back, relax and marvel at your efforts!

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Lack of outdoor play makes children clueless about fruit and veg

Interesting article here from Fresh Produce Journal. Extract here:

“From basil on your pizza to coriander in your curry, modern families cook with all sorts of herbs – but only one in three children can name a single one, a survey has found.

And more than half could not name five fruit or vegetables that grow in British gardens, apart from potatoes.”

 

 

 

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Plastic Free Schools

We are all aware of the pernicious effects of single-use plastics in our environment. Here at Rhyl, we work hard to keep our outdoor spaces free of litter and avoid using unnecessary plastic. The government has announced a plan for schools to ban single use plastic by 2022. See the links below for more:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-challenged-to-go-single-use-plastic-free-by-2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/27/schools-urged-to-eliminate-single-use-plastics-by-2022

 

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6 things you didn’t know about bees

We saw this amazing article in The Times with extracts from Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson.

 

  1. There are 20,000 species of bee.
  2. Female bees can decide on the sex of their offspring. They mate early in their lives then store the sperm. When they lay eggs, they determine the sex. Witholding sperm produces a male bee.
  3. Humans first domesticated bees 5,000 years go. “Egyptians had certainly perfected the art by 3000BC, tending their bees in long clay tubes and transporting them by barge up and down the Nile with seasonal crops and wildflower blooms.”
  4. Bees can detect the electric fields given off by bees. “Tests show that bumblebees build up a small positive charge as they fly, causing their hairs to bend slightly towards the negative fields given off by flowers. When they land, that difference helps pollen to stick to their hairs (because opposites attract), and the exchange leaves part of their positive charge behind. Other bees can sense that altered signal as evidence that the blossom was recently stripped of its rewards.”
  5. Beet antennae contain at least seven sensory organs.
  6. Bees can detect scent from more than half a mile away.
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Spend more time learning outside – says Daily Express

Just 12% of schools provide daily outdoor lessons – read on for full article …

daily-express-outdoor-learning-5.11

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Time for Bulb Planting

Interesting trip to friends at the Castlehaven Horticulture Hub. Very jealous of their HUGE squash ready to harvest (see pic). We’re gearing up for bulb planting, and today received our alliums, daffodils and crocuses. More info here.

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