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Equipment Needed for Growing in Containers

On this page we have listed all the equipment you will need to run your growing project. We have tried to keep costs as low as we can and wherever possible we have suggested ways of saving money and using recycled materials. Promoting recycling and environmental awareness to children is a vital part of this project.

You have two options to think about when buying all the equipment you will need to run this project.

1. If you want to save money, promote recycling and try to get pupil's families involved in the project we have included some suggestions on how to do this.

2. If your school has a reasonable budget to run this project and you need to start the project quickly we have included a printable form listing all the items that you will need. You can fax this form to your local B&Q (or nearest shop that supplies gardening equipment) get quote from them and then order the items if you are happy with the price.

Essential equipment

This list gives quantities for approx. one class of 30 children, so if you are running the project for fewer or more children you will be able to adjust the quantities to suit your school.

1 packet of each of:

Peas (Keveldon Wonder variety)

Tomatoes (Gardener's Delight variety)


Carrots (Round variety)*

*This is more of an unusual variety of carrot so you may need to order it from a garden centre or from an on-line gardening site or catalogue. It is the best option for this project but if you can't find the seeds just follow the instructions on the packet of carrot seeds that you do buy. Look for this symbol:

A minimum of 1 modular seed tray per group = 4

Ask families to bring in empty egg cartons -they are great for growing seeds in.

3 bags organic, peat-free multi-purpose compost

This will be enough for the modular seed trays plus 2 pots of carrots, two pots of peas, 2 pots of spinach and 6 tomato plants in pots. If you have compost left over plant more plants!

2 Grow Bags

This will be enough for 6 tomato plants, so you can choose whether to use grow bags or pots for your tomatoes or both!

Large pots – the bigger the better - but you will need at least:

7.5 litre pots for each single tomato plant

5 litre pot for 4 pea plants

5 litre pots for carrot and spinach plants

Don't forget our suggestions for using recycled containers to save money and promote recycling. (Click to link to Container Growing Getting started page)

1 x 2ltr watering can with rose

When the plants are young you will can fill a bucket with water and ask the children to sprinkle water over the seedlings or newly transplanted plants using their hands. Alternatively you can collect plastic drink bottles and fit 'Bottle Top Waterers' to them - they make great mini watering cans for children to use. Bottle Top Waterers can be ordered at www.organiccatalog.com

1 large watering can (for more mature plants)

Bamboo Canes for supporting tomato plants (one for each plant)

For supporting peas you can either buy pea wigwams (1 wigwam will be fine for supporting 4/5 pea plants) or buy Spiral Canes (1 cane for each plant)

Ask families or local allotment sites to give you some sturdy twiggy branches – they work just as well for supporting peas and tomatoes.

3x Pack Disposable Gloves

Your school may already have these for other activities. If you do want to buy reusable gardening gloves for children you can buy these from some garden centres – this is better for the environment and a good idea if your school is planning to run growing activities regularly.

1 Fork and 1Trowel – for weeding and digging holes for transplanting

Check in second hand shops for these items, or ask families to donate or lend them – make sure they are safe for children to use .

1 Bucket – to collect weeds/ transport compost

1 Ball Garden Twine – to tie tomato plants to their canes.

Families may be able to donate these items

Check if your school has a contract with your local County Supplier – you may be able to order some equipment at special prices.


How to use the Printable ordering form for B&Q

Decide the quantities of equipment that you need – the quantities selected are for a class of 30 children. If you don't want an item select the ‘none' option on the menu beside the item.

Fax the form to your local B&Q (go to Store Finder at www.diy.com ) or any other diy store/garden centre to get a quote.

If you are happy with the quote you can ask them to make an order up for you.

B&Q can offer you the option of having a Trade Card, this means that you will be invoiced after you have placed the order so you won't need to visit the store. Check if your school already has a Trade Card or ask a member of staff at B&Q to send you an application form. Other stores may also offer this service.

Ask if the store will give you free delivery. Some B&Q stores will also offer gardening advice, so it is worth asking the Store Manager.

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Click here for a printable version of this page.

©2006 Portsmouth City Council