Thursday, 22 June 2017

If you can't stand the heat get out in the garden

This week at WESC we planted the last of our strawberries into baskets.

They have been so popular with students and staff that we decided to plant more!

We started off combining perlite Multi purpose compost.

Making sure to break up any lumps!

Then we half filled the baskets.

Picked our strawberry plants, three per basket.

Planted the plants around the outside edge of the basket, gently firming in and watered well.

We hung them in the second polytunnel. Just in time for the sun.

Finally, the WESC wildflower meadow is really starting to establish and attracting lots of wildlife. 

Thank you to all who helped.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Exeter College Volunteers

During last weeks half term period at WESC, students from Exeter College dedicated a day to supporting Learners at WESC.

The project we chose to do was revamping and repurposing a old raised bed which once had a water feature and turn it into a ornamental vegetable bed also known as a potager garden.

The beauty of this project is the location of the raised bed, it is near adult day services and is easily accessible for our learners to maintain, learn and enjoy.

The first step involves removing the weeds.

And (due to the amount of bind weed) the contaminated soil approx a spit and half down.

We removed the pond liner and pump. The filter and pipes will need cleaning and unblocking.

The last stages will involve putting in new landscape fabric and filling with compost (Gratefully donated by West Hill )

Our learners will clean the pebbles ready to be reused in the water feature. Then we will plant it out with a combination of Runner beans, Courgettes, Sweetcorn,Tomatoes, Nasturtiums, Marigolds and Cosmos that we have grown from seed. 

Watch this space....

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Planting Out Runner Beans

Last week after building the A frame to support our runner beans we planted them out in the raised bed.

Previously we have added organic matter and fertiliser as Runner Beans are very hungry! then we laid out the runner beans one per bamboo cane.

Using a trowel we dug a deep hole added further compost to it and firmed in the Runner Bean plant making sure to maintain the same planting depth.

Once we had planted them all, we tied them in, gave them a good water and companion planted some Marigolds that we have grown from seed. 

Sowing Sunflowers

Last week at WESC we planted sun flower seeds.

This year we are sowing two different types. Dwarf sunflower seeds which we will plant up and display in wooden boxes that our learners have helped build and decorate as part of design and technology. 

And Gigantic Yellows which we will plant out on site as part of a WESC sunflower growing competition. 

First we prepared the multi purpose compost removing all large lumps and filled small pots to the top. 

Then we carefully pressed one seed into the top of the compost and tapped the pot to cover the seed. 

Gently firming the compost.Watered, labelled each pot and placed under a cloche in the conservatory

We also checked and measured the growth of our courgettes. And watered the plug plants that we potted on last week.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A frames for Runner beans

This week in preparation for planting out our runner beans we built the A frame to grow them up.

First we weeded the raised bed using a hand rack.

Then broke up any lumps with our hands and removed any stones.

We then placed the bamboo canes in the soil, working from one end to the other.

We then firmed in the soil around the base with our fists, and tied at the tops.

Once all the A frames were in place we linked them with a horizontal bamboo cane.

Job done!

 We will continue to harden off the young runner bean plants and fingers crossed plant out next week.

This week we also planted Sweetcorn seeds into deep trays of multipurpose compost, and pricked out our Cosmos seedlings.

And finally we planted our potatoes that we had been chitting into a bag a third filled with compost adding fertilizer.

Covered with compost and watered thoroughly.

Planting Courgette Seeds

This week we planted courgette seeds in 7 cm pots

First we combined compost with perlite roughly 3 parts compost to 1 part perlite. using a pot to scoop the planting mediums.

We then gently firmed the compost be careful not to compact it.

Then we sowed the courgette seed vertically into a hole approx 2.5 cm deep, and covered.

Finally we labelled our pots and put to soak in a water bath.

Before finishing we checked on the growth of our plug plants that we potted on last week, and gave them a good water.

This week we also potted on our dahlia cuttings and continued watering.

We potted on our Dill seeds and moved them into the greenhouse.

 Finally we potted on our geranium palmatums that we had grown from seedlings.