2022’s National Children’s Gardening Week School Competition is a…..


This year you could win a £500 ‘Skinny Jean Gardener’ School Gardening Success Plan with £200 of National Garden Gift Vouchers or one of our runner up prizes of £200 of vouchers + 5 interactive solitary beehives and solitary bee guides from ‘Wildlife World’, or a Class Pumpkin Growing Kit from ‘Gardening For Kids‘ and £100 in National Garden Gift Vouchers that can be used in over 1200 Garden Centres! 🤑

And on top of this, we’re handing out £10 gift vouchers to the first 10 entries!

BUT it doesn’t stop there! One lucky entry, drawn at random, will win a Willow Wand for every pupil! 🌳 WAIT THERE’S MORE – The 3 best-looking entries will also win £50 National Garden Gift Vouchers for their school. ENTER NOW!

In this video, Lee Connelly, the Skinny Jean Gardener, talks through the challenge, how to do it, and what the School Gardening Success Plan is.

This year’s National Children’s Gardening Week school competition requires your school to grow as many grass caterpillars as you possibly can. These must be in line with our guidelines: the caterpillars must be at least 15cm long and must have sprouted grass. They need to be decorated by the children and then can be taken home after the competition. Please find the instructions for growing them below.  

You won’t need many ingredients to make these, and they should be relatively cheap! You can use many recycled and recyclable materials too, which can help educate the children on the importance of sustainability. 




  • National Garden Gift Vouchers can be used to purchase thousands of gardening products across the UK and can be used in over 1200 stores up and down the UK, use the online store locator to find your nearest store.
  • The School Gardening Success Plan is a scheme in which your class will embark on a year-round gardening adventure, where they will learn all the skills required to grow their own food. It also includes all the resources required for this teaching.

  • Willow Wand’s are 9 living willow stems that are expertly selected by master weavers and woven by hand with great accuracy and skill into a visually stunning, symmetrical ‘Wand’. This can then be planted and in as little as 6 weeks, if well-watered, the decorative stem will have magically grown a beautiful topiary crown. 👑


  • The Class Pumpkin Growing Kit from Gardening For Kids contains everything you need for your class to grow their own pumpkins, complete with a prize for the winner. The plant pots are completely biodegradable, made of bamboo, and are a bright orange colour. The compost discs perfectly fill up one pot, and are peat-free and made of coir. The pumpkin seeds themselves are Pumpkin Seedcells – the pumpkin seeds are contained within a cardboard case to protect them from predators and cold. They’re really easy to grow: just place them in the compost and water!


  1. Old tights or stockings (not opaque – grass needs to grow through them)
  2. Lots of hands
  3. Fast-growing grass seed
  4. Sawdust or compost
  5. Plant trays
  6. Rubber bands
  7. Pipe cleaners
  8. Great googly eyes

Make sure you have a space for them to grow in peace as they are easily scared.

Click below to download an instructions page!



1. Cut off each leg, and toe end of the tights.

2. Tie a tight knot in one end of the tight tube.

3. Fill the tights with the sawdust, compost or a mixture, to create the body for your caterpillar. Make sure the tights are filled and keep filling to your desired length.

4. On the inside of the tights, sprinkle grass seed along one side of the caterpillar, then tie a knot in the end.

5. Now that you have made the main body for your caterpillar, wrap rubber bands or string around the body to create sections.

6. Add your googly eyes, legs and antennae to the caterpillar using the pipe cleaners.

7. Lay the caterpillar in a tray with shallow water, so that the sawdust soaks it up. When the caterpillar is watered, remove it from water and place it in a dry plant tray.

8. Place your caterpillar on the windowsill and remember to water your caterpillar once or twice a week.

9. As the grass seed grows it will poke through the tights, making a hairy caterpillar.


When you’ve grown all of your caterpillars it is essential you take a picture with all of the caterpillars and fill out our form below with your details and the number of caterpillars. All entries must be in by the end of the 20th of May. We will announce the winners on the National Children’s Gardening Week Facebook page so give the page a follow and the winners will be announced within 28 days of the competition closure. Just after the school holidays!

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