Tuesday, 20 March 2018

WInter at WESC

This winter in the polytunnels we have been planting shallots, onions and garlic.

They are a really good size for our students to handle, are very robust and frost hardy so pretty reliable for the cold weather we are having.

We have planted them in our polytunnels in well prepared free draining compost.

In rows spacing correctly for each cultivar, using bamboo canes as spacers.

The garlic we have chosen to do in modules and plant on later.

Also, we have been hard at work in preparation for sowing in the spring. 

This has involved clearing the raised vegetable beds, mulching and fleecing.

Finally, Matthew has been potting on the geranium Palmatums in preparation for planting out in the spring.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Last year WESC was lucky enough to enlist the help of the prince’s trust who dedicated a couple of weeks of their time to help develop the gardening area at WESC.

We designed and created a raspberry growing area. WESC had been donated some old decking boards which were perfect for building raised beds and pathways.

To start with we had to plan the dimensions of pathways, accessibility, aspect and spacing for soft fruit growing. 

Using the boundary as our base line we triangulated the measurements from that. Cleared and mowed the area. 

Marked with paint, and then set to work lifting the turf and levelling.

We put in posts at all corners and marked using string lines.

Fixed the edging lengths to the posts, adding additional post to strengthen.

Then we laid the landscape fabric. 

Next, we built the raised boxes that we would grow the raspberries in and fixed them into the ground.

Then we covered the landscape fabric with bark chipping and levelled with rakes.

We added the organic material and compost to the raised beds.Dug in some base fertiliser.

The path took a bit longer because we had a lot of brambles to pull out, but once cleared we laid fabric and bark chipped.

Lifted and pruned the autumn fruiting raspberry canes and planted, making sure to maintain the original planting height.
 Watered and mulched.

Hey presto ready for some sunshine!

A big thank you to the prince’s trust for all their efforts with this project it has been a real success!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Painting Sheds and Coldframes

Last week at WESC we had Exeter college student’s volunteering for a day. After a unanimous vote we decided to paint the sheds.

We started off by splitting into teams and prepping the sheds.

Everybody really got stuck in.

With everybody helping it took no time at all.
We ended up finishing both sheds!

A big thank you to exeter college students they did a great job.This was a great job to do as not only will it improve the aesthetics but extend the life.Thank you also to build base for donating the paint and brushes.

Matthew did a great job clearing the avalanche of leaves after the heavy winds. And we have finished building the cold frame just in time to take some semi ripe and hardwood cuttings

Strawberry Plants and Sunflower Seeds

Last week with Penny and Shelley’s groups we divided and potted on the strawberry plants in preparation for next year. The strawberry hanging baskets proved very popular this year as they enticed people into the poly tunnels in their lunch breaks to do a bit of watering while picking the odd strawberry.

First we removed the old strawberry plants from the baskets 

Separated the runners and soaked the roots.

Holding the Strawberry plant we carefully backfilled around the roots with a combination of perlite and multi purpose compost into 9cm pots.

We then watered and placed them in the green house in preparation for the new year.

Finally,we have been collecting seeds for next year the sunflowers have been the most popular as you get so many from each flower head. We will have to use some for bird food in the woodland garden.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Sweet Sweet Pea's

This week with Nicola's group we have been sowing Sweet pea's in pots.

We have collected the seeds from Sweet Pea's we grew. 

To encourage germination I soaked them overnight. Which causes them to swell making them a bit easier to handle.

First we removed any lumps from the multi purpose compost. 

Mixed in the perlite. 

Over filled the pots and struck them off. 

Gave them a tap and gently pressed the seed into the compost. 

We sowed five per pot and then gently covered the loose compost over the seed. 

Finally, we labelled them and left them in a water bath. Fingers crossed we should have some super strong scented Sweet Pea's.