Growers Hub

Inspired growers learn from Patch Manager Jade at The Crescent Primary School in Croydon!

Written by
April 12, 2024

It’s part of Roots' wider mission to help inspire people to take up growing no matter their age! That means we regularly visit schools, care homes and other community projects to host talks, workshops and hands-on activities. 

Unfortunately growing has been officially off the curriculum since 1945 and we think that it’s key to educate our young ones on where their food comes from because it’s usually a very ‘supermarket based relationship’, sorry kids but a courgette does not come from a shelf in Tesco!

It’s a pleasure to unlock the power of growing in children and help them forge a deeper connection to the natural world by planting and nurturing seedlings. Jade, our Patch Manager at Roots Allotments Meadow Hill, Croydon was invited to The Crescent Primary School where she gave an inspirational speech and then helped over 70 children have a go with sowing flower and vegetable seeds. It was a no brainer when the school reached out, as the year 5 classes were learning a module called 'Roots, Shoots and Fruits.' where they were learning about the science of growing! 

They had such an amazing time their teacher Porsha Akpofure sent us this lovely message after! 


We met with Jade and our Year 5 children were sooo happy to see her! She was bubbly, full of life and knowledgeable about all things, plants! The workshop that she delivered included all of our pupils', those with special and complex needs as well as mainstream.

She was personable and on hand with the demos to show our children how to sow seeds. She had so many available and allowed children to choose which they'd like to plant, allowing them expression through pupil voice. I don't think she's ever heard 'Miss Jade' called so many times in a day lol.

We really enjoyed having Jade deliver this workshop on behalf of Roots Allotment and are so grateful for her time and the knowledge she shared. We only wish it could've been longer!

We would love to have Jade re-visit before the end of the school year / start of the next academic year to do a check in / recall session with our pupils to support this experience that they've had, and to solidify more of their learning.

AGAIN, A MASSIVE THANK YOU - Please let us know if there's anything more we can do as a school to support yourselves as part of our Croydon and wider school community.


1) No digging needed! Your Back Will Thank You

Yes, it’s true. You’ll be picking bountiful harvests without needing to dig, turn or fork the earth! Your back will thank you because digging takes about 2 x times longer than No dig. Beds are made by covering your growing ground in cardboard and placing nutrient rich compost on top - giving you a surface that’s ready to plant straight away!

2) Less weeding 

Weeds get suppressed by the layer of cardboard and compost, they then die off because of no sunlight! If soil stays undisturbed then weeds and their seeds are more likely to stay locked into the ground instead of sprouting when disturbed on a traditionally dug allotment.

3) Feeding the soil creates healthier plants

By building yearly layers of organic matter and not disturbing the soil’s ecosystem, you will increase the amount of good microbial activity. Good microbes help plants access nutrients and water, so the healthier your soil - the healthier your plants! 

4) You’ll do less watering!

No dig beds retain moisture better because you’re introducing organic matter, not taking it away. By keeping the soil’s ecosystem in-tact and encouraging bacteria, fungi and worms to do their thing will create better layers of soil that save water for when your plants need it - instead of bare dug ground that leaks moisture! Water is a precious resource and no dig helps us make the most of every drop!

5) Higher Yields Are Scientifically proven!

No dig has been proven to produce significantly higher yields by Charles Dowding over the last 9 years at his Homeacres Farm. He has been weighing the results of identically planted dug vs no dig beds and over that time the results are 100’s of kg’s greater.

6) Reduce Single-Use Plastic! <3 The Planet!

Every harvest throughout the seasons means you’ll be totally cutting out vast amounts of single use plastic that is used in supermarket produce! The supply chains we rely on use way too much making no dig a great way to start reducing personal consumption of single use plastic.

7) Experience Less pests & diseases

The result of great soil health by the no-dig method helps good bacteria, insects and animals thrive! Using natural methods of pest control we can learn to work with nature instead of against it - a single teaspoon of healthy rich soil can contain up to 1 billion bacteria!.

8) You’ll help fungal networks and they’ll help your plants grow

Fungi are a super important part of running a productive healthy patch. When soil is full of life and undisturbed there will be miles and miles of fungal networks beneath your feet trading nutrients with each other and your plants.

9) Save time and be 40% more productive by no dig!

When you don’t need to spend hours and hours digging, turning and prepping the soil for planting, you’ll be able to spend it doing the fun creative side of gardening - planning, planting, pruning your patch to create your own edible zen garden.

As a bonus you will also feel the mental and physical boost of growing your own

Gardening and feeding yourself with incredibly fresh nutrient dense food has amazing positive side effects for both people and the planet. As time goes by you’ll feel closer and more at one with nature.