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Welcome to your Student Portal

Our online gardening courses are ideal for any young person interested in learning how to grow their own vegetables, flowers and fruit for their skills requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This is a fully supported, affordable, home based course, accessible to all, it is designed to engage and inspire participants whilst caring for the environment and  teaching an invaluable life skill.

07804 801416

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Keeping Safe

Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands against cuts and disease cause by working in the soil and on the compost heap.

Don’t lift heavy bags or containers on your own, ask some one to share the load.

When you do lift, keep your back straight and bend your knees to get down to the ground.

Wear steel capped or strong boots when using a garden fork or spade to protect your toes.


Use goggles when pruning branches or building with canes.

How to plan this course

Read course support material before you start.

Organise materials needed for each task. 

Plan sowing and planting tasks carefully, for example corn can only be sown from March to May, if you start your course in April make sure to sow corn as one of your first vegetables.

Complete one 30-45 min worksheet per week.

Stay on top of the weekly maintenance of your seed trays and grow containers or beds.

Allow for periods of high activity when the weather starts to get warmer in April, May and June.

Upload photos of the completed tasks and a 3 or 6 month report document to the student portal

Before you start this course

It is important to know what you need to have in place to grow fruit and vegetables. It can be quite a list but the basics are simple:


  • Garden, courtyard or balcony with a minimum of 6hrs of full sunshine.

  • An hour of your time per week; a little more during busier times in summer.

  • Smartphone for photos of completed tasks

  • Note book to take notes of where you sown what, what works and what doesn't as you garden your way through the season. Use these notes for your monthly report.

What else do I need ?

Below is a rough list of the materials you will need during the course. You can obtain these from your local gardening centre in preparation for this course. Some materials can be found in your recycling, so keep an eye on what you throw away


  1. Read the worksheet and check you have all materials,

  2. Watch the GIF if attached to your worksheet to see what is expected,

  3. When working indoors, cover the table you are working on with a table cloth, preferable an oil cloth as this is waterproof.

  4. Place the materials needed to complete the task on the table or within easy access,

  5. Have a broom, pan and brush ready,

  6. Clear an area in your windowsill for your seed trays and/or transplanted pots to go for germination or recovery.

  7. Think ahead and plan where you would like your containers or grow bags to go. Keep in mind a south facing wall or a sheltered spot away from strong winds and a good amount of sun hours,

  8. You are ready to go!

Materials & Tools

A couple of Containers, grow bags or a simple grow bed. You can add more as you go along.

  • Terracotta shards

  • Multi-purpose compost and perlite

  • Watering can for indoor and outdoor use,

  • Gardening gloves,

  • Hand fork and spade,

  • Transparent plastic sheet, fleece and netting,

  • Bamboo poles to build plant support,

  • Bamboo pole tops or recycled 500ml bottles,

  • Plant labels, scissors and pen,

  • Bio-degradable pots (9 cm) and seed trays,

  • Drip and grill or mesh trays,

  • Cardboard,

  • Liquid plant food

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