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Friday, January 11, 2013

Eleven Plus Tomatoes

How many eleven plus parents will be growing tomatoes under glass this year? It just takes a little planning and organisation! Next month, in the middle of February, sow 2 – 3 seeds per square inch in a propagator filled with sieved compost. Cover the propagator with newspaper – and remember to close the greenhouse door.

When the seedlings have developed, provided that you can still get to your greenhouse through the snow, prick out the seedlings into 3 inch peat or plastic pots. Water the seedlings gently. Keep the seedlings at around 18 degrees. Every now and then apply some liquid feed or fertiliser.

The secret to greenhouse grown tomatoes depends on meticulous attention to watering and feeding. The secret to eleven plus success is remarkably the same – meticulous attention to watering and feeding of the child – along with some old fashioned brain fertiliser!

Once the tomatoes are a little more mature, ask your eleven plus child to select five healthy looking ones. Help him or her to weigh each tomato carefully. Record the results. It is possible that the family’s tomatoes could be held in a table looking rather like this:

Our Eleven Plus Reasoning Question

Weight in grams

How much did the Tomato Number 4 weigh?
A             130
B             550
C             600        
D             300

Reasoning is not just answering a question like: “How many wheels does a tricycle have?” Reasoning can involve planning, participation and solving a problem.