The gardening group meet on Fridays. We work mainly on the school plot on the Sandhurst Rd allotments although we've also been known to do some gardening activities in the school grounds and in the play park between the school and the allotment.
We grow mainly edible plants including potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbages, broad beans, runner beans etc. as the season dictates. This involves seed sowing, planting out, soil preparation, weeding, watering, pest & disease recognition and control. Students take the produce home with them.
In the winter months we make Christmas wreathes, collect fallen leaves to make compost, repair bed edges, clean tools, etc. The gardening group also grow herbs and flowering plants to sell at the summer fete and BBQ. Last year we made around £50.
We've also done a couple of historical projects. In spring/summer 2014 we gave over part of the plot to a Tudor garden growing vegetables an average sixteenth century gardener might have grown, ie no potatoes or runner beans (they were exotics then) only white carrots (orange ones weren't grown widely in England in 1564 which is the year we focused on, it being the year Shakespeare was born and his 450th birth anniversary) and peas that grew over 2m high. Last year we did a World War 1 plot commemorating 100 years of the start of that war. This was the idea of a student in year 8.
We entered Southampton in Bloom in for the last 3 years running and have won a gold, silver and bronze certificates. In 2014 one year 9 student took part in some gardening certificated assessments for the AQA award.
Projects for the coming year, beside growing the usual array of veg, include growing 5 different varieties of turnip to compare, growing veg from around 1616 and some guerrilla gardening in the park - sshhhhh - that's top secret though!