school gardens

Annual to do list for a school garden:

Meet in March to bring new volunteers and staff that want to get involved.    This first meting is a great place to set out your schedule, figure out materials that need to be replaced, seeds that need to be ordered and grants to apply for.

 

Planting Seeds -late April/ early May

One person to coordinate planting and organize the seeds.

What you will need:

  • A  list of seeds,   timing,   planting list.   Parents can each  coordinate planting with the other parent(s) and  the teacher.
  • Decide on the space for you planting activity, if you have a science room, or room with access to water and a space to store supplies,  tit makes it easier for volunteers.
  • The  grade specific curriculum outcomes based on the garden are in the School Garden Guide on page 20 from http://www.gov.ns.ca/agri/agaware/schoolgarden.shtml ). If you or the teacher are looking for extra ideas, this is a great resource.
  • Pots: use  little peat pots.  Once the kids have planted their pots you can put 8-12 plants in the clear salad boxes so that the plants can have a bit of extra water for the hot days.  This works well for watering over weekends as well as you can leave about 2 cm of water in the base so that the seedlings won’t dry out.
  • Soil: It works best if you put the soil into a big container, wet the soil and then let the children fill the pots themselves.   Dry soil will end up everywhere!
  • Plant tags: Old venetian blinds make great tags. Having tags available allows the children to identify their plants.  Have children add the plant name, their grade and their name as they will want to track progress as the plant grows.
  • Watering: Use small spray bottles, these are great for watering (just don’t leave kids unsupervised with spray bottles, or they will likely be soaked!)
  • WATER: Please ask the teacher to check the seeds every second day, and definitely on bright sunny days to make sure seeds don’t dry out.   If you are in the school-  check on seeds when you are in the class to make sure they have enough water- they will die if they go completely dry.     If plants are in trays you can water well on the weekends and let them soak in about 2 cm of water as  schools can be very hot  and dry.
  • Transplant: In June, arrange  an hour or so to transplant the seedlings into the garden.

Garden Day- Mid-May

“Family Gardening Day – bring a shovel, your kids, your energy  and your gardening  gloves!  We’ll take this day to prepare the garden for planting the seedlings, weed the back garden, turn the potato patch and various other gardening/greening jobs.”

Make sure everyone marks any tools they bring.

Assign leads for main jobs so that they can help coordinate kids and parents who want to help.

-Tidy/dig/add to  flower gardens.

– Tidy/dig/ add to perennial herb garden.

-Create better paths/obvious plant areas in rock gardens.  Replace signage, plant supports, carefully weed.

– Build any new gardens needed for the year.

-Prepare vegetable gardens.

-Collect bags of leaves or seaweed that will be used as mulch.

-If you have a large garden, prepare the bed for planting:   weed, make rows, cover with landscape fabric and place boards down between rows to mark paths

 

 

Other tasks:

Add manure for pumpkin patch

Buildany planned structures:  trellis for squash, tunnels for beans, marked area for a sunflower house

Build a lean to for equipment

Add soil/manure

Ask volunteers to bring in:

Leaves: leaves are a great local source for mulch.  As you are clearing your lawns and bagging leaves (or see your neighbour stacking bags of leaves on the curb), please bring them to the school and drop bags of leaves off at the school garden as they make mulch in the summer.