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Course programme Aug. 20th, 2009 @ 02:21 pm
Our course programme can only be finalised once we've had chance to discuss it, and see whether it meets your needs, or whether it should be adjusted.

However, since we aren't meeting until 22 September, I've made a start with some suggestions, and with some possible alternatives. These are listed below.

My suggestion for each week is that we divide the two hour session up into three:

1 A practical

2 A minor topic following a theme through the term

Tea/Coffee break

3 A major topic

Here are my initial suggestions:


Suggested programme for the Autumn Term 2009/10

Major topic

Week 1 The Gardening Year – September/October
• Jobs for the season
• Plants for the season

• Enrolment
• Introductions
• Finalisation of programme
• Management of an allotment

Week 2 Management of Soils
• Soil types
• Soil management
• Composts
• Mulches
• Fertilizers

Week 3 Planning the Fruit and Vegetable Garden
• Types of kitchen garden
• Positioning plants
• Crop rotation
• Raised beds
• No dig beds
• Small plots
• Intercropping
• Catch cropping
• Developing a plan

Week 4 Pests and Diseases and other Wildlife
• Identifying and dealing with common pests
• Identifying and dealing with common diseases
• The good, the bad and the bugly – who are the good guys?
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Cultivation problems
• Dealing with weeds
• How much wildlife is welcome?
• Providing a home for wildlife

Week 5 Organic Gardening
• What is organic gardening?
• Feeding the soil
• Choosing varieties
• Dealing with pests and diseases organically
• Companion planting

Week 6 The Gardening Year – November/December
• Jobs for the season
• Plants for the season
• A review of progress on the allotment

Week 7 Vegetable and Fruit varieties and how to use them
• Selecting varieties for different uses
• Selecting varieties for year round cropping
• Fruit rootstocks
• Unusual varieties and how to use them
• Smoothing out the seasonal glut
• Forcing crops

Week 8 Growing and Harvesting
• Cultivation needs for different varieties
• Growing from seed, tubers and offsets
• When to harvest
• How to store

Week 9 See below for choice of topics

Week 10 The Gardening Year – January/February
• Jobs for the season
• Plants for the season
• Review of progress on the allotment
• Review of the term
• Plans for the future

Options for Week 9
- Growing flowers for cutting
- Ponds and water features
- Pruning trees and shrubs
- Growing and using herbs
- A seed-sowing practical (that would need to be placed earlier in the term)
- Or any other topic the group would like

Each week

Practical element
Identification and discussion of things brought in by participants (plants, weeds, creepy crawlies, pests, diseases, etc)

Minor topic
Choice of one of:

• Review of the week’s progress on the allotment
• Herb of the week – history, cultivation, usage and recipes
• Vegetable of the week – history, cultivation, usage and recipes
• Plant of the week – history and cultivation, uses and varieties
• Weed of the week – history, folklore, uses, how to eradicate, wildlife links
• Bug of the week – recognise it, life cycle, role in the garden, is action needed

A small, take-home quiz on that week’s main topic

Handouts will be available each week for both major and minor topics.
Current Mood: curious
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