Indoor Plants & Watering

Now that we have the Blog back up and running, I thought it would be nice to get back on track with the posts that were planned in earlier on this school year.

It has been claimed that keeping houseplants helps to remove pollutants and reduce stress, therefore increasing focus and creativity, but sometimes caring for your plants can feel like a full time job. There’s so much to remember, from feeding your plants to making sure they get enough sunlight.

We know the instinct to water them is strong, but over watering is the most common way to kill houseplants.

Generally speaking, plants like to dry out in between feedings. If soil is left too wet for too long, it can cause root rot. Letting your soil dry out before watering is key for plants to receive the perfect balance of water and oxygen.  So how do you know when a plant needs to be watered?

Tips: 

  • Stick your finger in the soil and if the first inch is dry, water. If it looks dry on top but is actually wet below the surface, don’t. The top of the soil should feel moist, not soggy.
  • Leaves are expressive — especially if they are large and thin — and will tell you a lot about a plant’s needs. If they are droopy, you know they need something and to check their soil. You might have to dig down a couple of inches
  • If your plant is in an unglazed clay pot, for instance, it may need to be watered more often than a plant in a store-bought plastic planter
  • For many plants, it’s wise to have drainage, because you can soak them to be sure that they are absorbing the water.
  • Smaller plants need more attention and frequent watering than larger plants. Additionally, plants that get more sunlight also need to be watered more frequently.
  • Watering from underneath is more homogeneous, less prone to overwatering and there is no concern of draining nutrients out. Plus, you can be sure that the water does actually get to the roots.
  • Place a saucer underneath the pot and fill the saucer with fresh water when it’s time to water. Let it soak for several hours. Empty the saucer and let the remaining water drip out.
  • Fill the bottom of a tray/container/sink/bathtub with a few centimetres of fresh water. Place your plant pots in and let them absorb water for a couple of hours. Let them dry before placing them back.
  • Self-watering pots are incredibly useful and time-saving. No more over-watering or under-watering, the plant does it all for itself. You just need to refill the water reservoir
  • Use pebbles as a soil topping to retain moisture longer.
  • Just like humans don’t like an ice-cold shower, your plants don’t either. Water with tepid water. Water straight from the tap can shock the roots, especially tropical plants.

This was our first autumn crop of this school year!

We had spicy radish to set off this years growing

Insect Hotels + Window-Box Growing Updates

Welcome back to school, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

‘Growing Green’ is not only about growing your own plants, although this is a large part of it, but it is also about transforming every part of your life to make it as sustainable as possible, this includes keeping our wildlife thriving. Today’s discussion is ‘Garden Companions’, with a focus on Bee & Insect Hotels.

Photos: 1) By Sian Dorman of a bee hotel in a local park 2) By Ms Spieler of her very own Bee hotel

I have been spotting a number of different bee hotels in my local area recently so I thought I’d share some of my findings in the photos above. These photographs show you different designs you can purchase from any garden centre/garden & hardware store or online.

Bee numbers are falling fast, so by giving them a home you’ll be encouraging nature into your garden and helping the bee population.

As part of the D&T KS3 Curriculum our year 9 students make their own bird and insect houses with Ms Barden within their Resistant Materials rotation.

As part of the D&T KS3 Curriculum our year 9 students make their own bird and insect houses with Ms Barden within their Resistant Materials rotation. The x2 insect houses above are very impressive products made by Year 9 students in Ms Barden’s class last year. These have been made from MDF, Plywood and bamboo, but you yourself can make one from waste items at home using minimal tools and equipment and to any scale your garden can hold!

Next week I hope to share with you a quick and simple way that you can make your own from waste, offcuts and bits found around the home!



Window-Box Growing Updates

Our upcycled scrap wood window boxes that Technician Mr Tao built us have really began to thrive! Here’s a photograph of Ms Spieler tending to the vine tomatoes.

If you’ve been following our weekly Growing Green blog updates then you’ll remember when these babies were first planted in early March by our lovely Year 10 Food & Nutrition students… I posted some photographs of them two weeks into growth not too far back. Look how far they have come!

You can see if you look closely that we have a couple of mini bell-peppers and tomatoes coming through! We have some flowers on our Aubergines and Cucumber but unfortunately they are not providing us with fruit yet. Our basil from before Lockdown-1 is growing tall despite us being away for two separate Lockdowns, working from home.

Check back in next Monday for more! Have a great week.

The Design and Technology subject area introduce our current Departmental aim. ‘Growing Green’

Welcome!


Hello viewers & welcome to the St Marylebone Design & Technology Section of the blog!

We have decided to use this platform to share with you all, our progress with our current & new department development goals to go greener. We are calling this project ‘Growing Green’ and we plan to use this week to introduce it to you. Our aim is to post new each week. The next few weeks are all about introductions before we move onto the juicy stuff!

So the project as a whole intends to create a greener and more sustainable school environment as well as developing students’ understanding of the farm to fork process, scientific principles, environmental considerations and existing and emerging technologies.

The aim of the project is to create a greener, and more inspiring learning environment for ALL students. become more sustainable and environmentally friendly as a department, and later, a whole school community. Involve students in the growing process to not only support their learning, but mental health also.

Lemon tree from a Lemon seed.
Avocado grown from pip as seen below!

Stage 1- Greening classrooms Stage 1 of our project will involve making use of our classrooms to grow produce. Create hanging systems by windows and use of window sills for sowing seeds and growing produce. Purchase of an urban cultivator to demonstrate hydroponics and growing produce in an alternative way. Introduction of a wormery to dispose of food waste produced during lessons.


Stage 2- Use of Blandford Street roof space Use of roof space for growing produce and learning space subject to relevant permissions. Raised beds, water butt, small storage shed and potting area.

The photos are Ms Spielers potted Lemon and Avocado grown from seeds of food waste last spring, swipe for the process. The Last photo is Ms Bardens Lemon tree grown in a Banana! I will keep you informed on its progress every so often in our stories and highlights!

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