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Help - Growing plants for the school fair from seed in 8 weeks

(23 Posts)
teta Wed 05-Mar-14 13:37:23

What can I plant in the school greenhouse that will grow in time to sell in May?Alternatively is it worth buying plug plants?(but these seem to take a month to be delivered) or are bulbs a possibility.Any suggestions will be extremely welcome.

reallifegetsintheway Wed 05-Mar-14 19:57:55

Not much expertise here but sweet peas will definitely be a fair size if you plant now but not in flower obviously. Tomato seeds will germinate quickly, lots in a pack. Transplant into pots, name them (e.g. Tim the tomato plant) and get kids to hassle parents to buy them. Same with veg seeds e.g. runner beans are v.easy. Sunflowers??

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Mar-14 19:59:23

could you grow tomatoes? sunflowers might go down well and are pretty big. sweat peas.

reallifegetsintheway Wed 05-Mar-14 20:01:24

great minds think alike (!)

Pannacotta Wed 05-Mar-14 20:02:36

Try Cosmos, they are quick from seed and make lovely garden plants.

teta Wed 05-Mar-14 22:59:06

Will Cosmos work this early Pannacotta?.I've never had a greenhouse so I'm used to planting these much later.But I really love Cosmos- especially Purity( then again I won't be the one buying).Tomatoes,Sweet Peas and Sunflowers are brilliant ideas - Thank you.Great idea to label the Tomato plant and yes - Runner beans are also a fantastic idea ( I've never grown vegetables before - I'm more of a Sarah Raven mini plant buyer).How do I plant these seeds?.I have those plastic trays with mini pots in.Do I plant a few seeds each pot?.Are the pound shops worth trying this time of year?Any suggestions will be extremely welcome as I really do feel all at sea ( high expectations from the P T A and lack of goodwill from school secretary).

Pannacotta Wed 05-Mar-14 23:43:53

They are fine to sow now in a greenhouse (or indoors) and you can pot them on before you they are sold.
Sow the Cosmos seeds in a seed tray (they are too small to sow individually) and pot on closer to May.
Sweet peas and sunflowers can be sown individually in small pots.
Will post a link in a min for some better info.

Pannacotta Wed 05-Mar-14 23:46:06

Do PM me if you need any other info teta.
Good luck (and don't forget the seeds will need watering!)

teta Thu 06-Mar-14 12:14:23

Thank you Pannacotta.The headmaster has promised that the kids will do the watering.Now hopefully some parents will have donated seed trays so I can get started.

dreamingofsun Thu 06-Mar-14 13:08:13

sounds like a good idea for a lunchtime club and get the kids to do the work with a couple of parents helping. or maybe some grandparents who are keen gardeners. i'm sure you would get loads of volunteers for this sort of project

RustyBear Thu 06-Mar-14 13:10:50

Be careful if you choose cacti!

teta Thu 06-Mar-14 13:26:49

I wish Dreamingofsun.I am the only one who has offered to grow plants in time for May ( actually I offered to help man the plant stall.Somehow this metamorphosed into actually growing things).Oh Dear Rustybear grin very priapic!.Thats given me the best laugh of the week.

funnyperson Thu 06-Mar-14 18:55:28

What about speedy veg such as rocket and radishes and spring onions and herbs such as basil and chives?
If you plant some summer bulbs in pots they wont be in flower but they will be able to be sold: lilies are good to plant now and they will be in leaf as will irises.
Yes to poundland: summer bulbs and also tesco had some cheap gladioli bulbs going the other day.
Cuttings of rosemary and sage and fuschia taken now and put into potting compost with some rootgrow and labelled may well be able to be sold in 6 weeks time.
In 6 weeks the garden stall is likely to be one of the most popular!
You could ask the children to take cuttings from their home garden of stuff like jasmine, honey suckle, roses, rosemary, etc and bring them in for the school greenhouse. Give them the labels to write up, and a small pot with compost and let them propagate stuff!
Here is an rhs video on how to take cuttings

teta Thu 06-Mar-14 19:53:07

Fantastic ideas Funny person.Will Gladioli And other bulbs grow well in the greenhouse?I love the idea of the children bringing in cuttings!Will herbs grow from seed rapidly or do I have to propagate them?

funnyperson Sat 08-Mar-14 04:29:11

Herbs will grow quickly from seed.
Bulbs can be planted in pots outside or in the greenhouse. If you dont have enough room in the greenhouse put them outside. Some people put them outside in this mild weather as the cold can help them start up and then bring them on in the greenhouse.

funnyperson Sat 08-Mar-14 04:33:17

To germinate seed at home: get an egg box. Cut off the lid (leave the flappy hinge on) Put the lid under the bottom to provide an extra layer of box. Fit loosely woth compost. Sow 2 seeds or so per compartment. Water lightly. Cover with a plastic pocket form tesco (99p per 100) Place on sunny windowsill. Water gently once or twice a day. The seeds will germinate in a week and can be potted on once the second or third lot of leaves come out.
The hinge of the egg box is used to write a label on so yo know hat you have sowed and the date.

funnyperson Sat 08-Mar-14 04:34:37

To make a dinosaur garden: get cuttings of spider plant and pot on in flattish pot. Add small dinosaur. (99p for a set from poundland)

funnyperson Sat 08-Mar-14 04:36:35

Ambitious parents or older classes may wish to make a terrarium

funnyperson Sat 08-Mar-14 04:40:07

hobbit terrarium

teta Sun 09-Mar-14 13:59:50

I'm definitely going to use the egg carton idea FunnypersonBut what are the plastic pockets - are they normal food bags?Wow,I love the terrariums.Maybe thats something the senior classes could do.
I visited the pound shop yesterday.Bought packs of Dutch Iris ( will plant in pots of 5),Acidenthera ( 3 - 5 in pots),a Heart shape tomato kit,a 3 herb seed kit,Gladioli and Anemone Blanca.( spent £10).I need to get a couple more packets of seed and then I think that will be enough.If I start off the herb and tomato seeds inside at what stage will I be able to transfer to the unheated greenhouse?(I have masses of Aquilegia and other seedlings I can transplant from my garden as well)

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 09-Mar-14 14:02:36

For a bit of pester power, could you (nearer the time), make up some seed heads

You can use grass seed, chia seed etc.

funnyperson Sun 09-Mar-14 20:28:59

The plastic pockets are those things you buy to keep school work looking nice: A4 size. Larger and cheaper than food bags. I use them for filing my accounts when not germinating stuff. smile

ShoeWhore Sun 09-Mar-14 21:46:16

Pots of living salad were popular at our summer fair. Can't remember how long they take to grow to a reasonable size now.

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