Win gardening gear to help primary pupils grow a bumper crop

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADL

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Collect coupons in our Plant to Plate scheme, sponsored by Plant Grow, to bag your local school a share of £10,000 of gardening goodies

The Plant to Plate campaign is offering £10,000 worth of gardening gear to help primary schools star

The Plant to Plate campaign is offering £10,000 worth of gardening gear to help primary schools start growing their own food - Credit: Archant

We've teamed up with Enjoy Gardening More for our Plant to Plate scheme, sponsored by PlantGrow, to help primary teachers get children out of the classroom and growing food for the school kitchen. Outdoor learning is a superb way to get the kids understanding more about nature, science and sources of food.

But how do they guarantee a good crop? Daniel Suggitt of Plant to Plate sponsor PlantGrow has some advice. He said: "The first step is to improve the quality of the soil.

"That's especially important with raised beds, which many schools will be using. Ideally, organic material like manure or a natural fertilizer like PlantGrow would have been dug through in the autumn, but it's not too late to do it now, before planting. Use a hand fork and mix your material through the top few inches of the soil."

The next stage is to protect the soil with a mulch. Mr Suggitt said: "Raised beds particularly are prone to drying out, so a good mulch will help seal in moisture.

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADL

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

"Our solid PlantGrow is a soil-conditioning fertilizer that can be used as a mulch.


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"If there are already seeds in the bed, it will help to enrich the soil at the same time." If some plants appear to be struggling, Mr Suggitt advises giving a weekly or twice-weekly feed with a liquid feed to give them a boost. "We always recommend growing chemical-free," he says. "It's good for bees, butterflies and other wildlife - children and teachers love seeing those creatures."

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HOW TO TAKE PART

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADL

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Plant to Plate is a token-collect scheme, with £10,000 worth of gardening equipment waiting to be shared between schools across the region. Every school that collects more than 1000 tokens will receive a gardening pack worth £130 and the six schools (three in Norfolk, three in Suffolk) collecting the most tokens per pupil will also collect £1000 worth of gardening equipment and personal advice from Peter McDermott, head gardener at Enjoy Gardening More.

Where to collect tokens

Tokens will be published in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and East Anglian Daily Times (two on Saturday), Ipswich Star, North Norfolk News, Dereham Times, Fakenham Times, Beccles & Bungay Journal, Lowestoft Journal and Great Yarmouth Mercury.

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADL

Pupils with the broad beans growing at Nightingale Infant School at Taverham Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

When to collect

Tokens appear every day (with double tokens in Saturday issues) with the final tokens published on Friday March 27. Schools have until April 3 to submit their tokens.

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