Create your own  
mini allotment tray

Create your own tiny tray allotment this Children’s Gardening Week 

 (Article: courtesy of Garden Organic)

A former Blue Peter gardener has suggested a novel way for the UK’s nature-loving youngsters to take part in National Children’s Gardening Week (28th May – 5th June 2022) this year – whether they have a garden or not. 

“Skip the allotment waiting lists and create your own tiny tray allotment,” says Chris Collins who is Head of Horticulture at charity, Garden Organic.

“Understanding where food comes from and nature’s cycles is a critical part of education and what better way to learn than by getting your hands dirty".  

 

You Will Need
(use what you can recycle from around the house)

  • A large tray/container or a number of small ones 
  • Peat-free compost 
  • Seeds of your choice! E.g. 
    • Cress 
    • Pea shoots 
    • Radish 
    • Purple sprouting broccoli 
    • Micro-greens 
    • Rocket 
    • Spinach 
  • Labels for your seeds – wooden lollipop sticks work brilliantly 
  •  Sieve (optional) 
  • Water sprayer (an old household spray bottle, well-rinsed, does the job) 
  • Items to decorate. E.g. 
    • Pebbles / Pine cones / pens  

Method

1.    Fill your tray three quarters full with compost 

2.    Sprinkle your seeds onto the soil surface 

3.    Sieve some compost, cover your seeds lightly and carefully firm down

4. Add some texture into your allotment e.g., with pine cones and pebbles. You could also create a mini gravel ‘pathway’. This is your chance to get creative and make it your own  

5.    Another option is to cover one section of your tray allotment with a thick layer of dried peas for delicious pea shoots. Cover this with a 1cm layer of compost and carefully firm down 

6.    Label the mini allotment areas with crop names and sowing dates 

7.    Use your water sprayer to give everything a good soak. (I don’t recommend a watering can as this can drown everything). If your tray has holes in the bottom just make sure you sit it on a watertight tray before watering! 

8.    The most important step - have fun! Decorate your mini allotment with bright pens; add your own creative touch with eye-catching pebbles, shells or even fairies! Why not try crafting a mini scarecrow!? 

Tips for looking after your tiny-tray allotment 

  • Keep the tray on a bright windowsill 
  • Spray your seedlings daily with a water sprayer. You’re aiming for damp, not soaked 
  • Re-sow as required  
  • With some good looking after, you should be able to keep your mini allotment going from spring through to the autumn  

Tips for harvesting your mini crops 

You’ll know when they’re ready as your whole tray will be a carpet of greenery and leaves 

  • Use scissors to gently crop seedlings or leaves 
  • Some seeds e.g., spinach and dried peas will regrow after two or three cuts before you need to sow again 

Chris added; “Once you’ve created your unique mini allotment you can enjoy watching your greens grow and tasting your home-grown produce. I’m looking forward to hearing how people get on with their mini allotments. It’s amazing what you can grow on your windowsill at home". 

“For keen learners there is a lot more information, plus tips and recipes on the Garden Organic website. We’d love to see your creations so definitely tag us in at @gardenorganicUK.” 

 

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"Gardening covers so many parts of the curriculum, maths, science, art, physical exercise and very importantly, team work. It is the perfect vehicle for hands on learning."

 Chris Collins, Lead Ambassador National Children’s Gardening Week

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