Gardening with Children

School Zone

Join our Wildflower Seed Project and help to conserve these unique plants for the future

Date Posted: 01 September 2013

The Recycleworks Wildflower Seed Project 2013/2014
 
At The Recycleworks we love our environment and all the wildlife that it supports. We would like to encourage and help schools and community associations supporting children of all ages to sow and grow wildflowers so that they can be conserved for the future.
 
What you need to do
 
If you are not already a member join our FREE Gardening with Children Club, which gives schools and community associations supporting children of all ages access to lots of information to encourage children to learn about gardening, grow their own fruit and vegetables and to care for their environment as well as member’s special offers and discounts.
 
Once you have received your welcome email with your exclusive Membership Number register your school/group FREE for our ‘Wildflower Seed Project 2013/2014’ before 31st October 2013 via email to sylvia@recycleworks.co.uk quoting your Membership Number, School/Group Name, Address, Contact Name, Telephone Number and email address.
 
We will then send you 5 FREE seed collecting tins to store your valuable seed in until the spring, when we will then contact you via email with instructions of how to sow and grow your wildflower seeds as well as a special deal on a 'Seed Propagating Kit’ perfect for schools and groups and containing everything you need to sow and grow your wildflower seeds, extra seed collecting tins are available to buy at 15p each. 
 
 
This year, while stocks last, we are giving away to each new member of the Wildflower Seed Project 2013/2014 a beautifully illustrated guide to ‘Collecting and Propagating Seed of Hay Meadow Flowers’ which has been produced by The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, who through their Hay Time Project work with farmers and landowners to restore meadows in the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland that have lost some of their wildlife value using seed harvested from nearby species-rich donor meadows, they involve volunteers in their work and provide educational opportunities for schools and the public. The full colour guide shows hay meadow plants in flower, their seed heads/pods and their seed as well as information on seed collecting, storage and propagation.
 
Hay Meadow seed saving brochure0001
 
(Existing Gardening With Children Club Members just need to register via email to sylvia@recycleworks.co.uk quoting their Membership Number, School/Group Name, Address, Contact Name Telephone Number and email address.)
 
Collecting Seed
 
Collecting seed is a fantastic thing to do with children, they will learn where seeds actually come from and not just out of a packet. Not only will they be rewarded with free seeds but also lots of free plants too and with the satisfaction that they have grown them themselves from ‘their’ seed.
 
Some of the most rewarding and valuable seeds to collect are from Wildflowers and Nectar Rich plants which provide food for our bees, butterflies and pollinating insects, by growing these you will be giving back to nature and enriching your environment.
 
 
Here are some of the many plants that are beneficial to insects: Buddleia, Ox Eye Daisy, Borage, Verbena Bonariensis, Evening Primrose, Calendula, French Marigold, Teasel, Thistles, Foxglove, Cornflower.
 
 
Where to look for seeds
 
The best places to find wildflowers are in uncultivated areas such as on grass verges, under hedges, on the edges of parks/playing fields (where the grass cutters can’t reach), church yards and meadows. Nectar rich flowers can usually be found in gardens. You may need to ask the landowners permission before entering their land to collect seed.
 
 
When
 
Seed can be collected NOW until the end of October; you may need to make a few visits as not all the seeds ripen at the same time. It is best to collect seeds when they are dry and on a warm dry day.
 
 
How to collect seed
 
You will need paper bags or envelopes, scissors and a pencil.
 
Some seed heads will shed their seeds very easily, simply tip their contents into your bag, or cut off the ripe seed head/pod and place in your bag then write the plant name on the bag, the place, the date and also the conditions that it was growing in: sun/shade or in dry/wet soil this will help you when you grow your new plants next year.
 
If some seed heads/pods are damp, lay them out on paper to dry before removing the seeds.
 
If you are not sure of the name of the plant cut off the seed head/pods and a leaf or take a photograph so that you can identify it later on.
 
Some seeds can be toxic, take care when collecting seed and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
 
 
Storing your seed
 
Some of the seeds will need to be cleaned by removing the husk, leaves, stalks and extracting the seeds from their pods/seed heads as these may contain small insects too.
 
Place your dry seeds in a cold, dry and dark place until February/March. This can be in a container in the fridge so that they go through the natural cold winter conditions or it can be in a sealed tin (which will protect the seeds from insects and animals) in the shed, but dry, cold and dark is important, if they get wet or warm they may start germinating and if it is too early for spring they will not survive.
 
 

 

Site By: Chamber Internet