Tag Archives: Video

Ten School Garden Activities for September

Welcome back teachers and students.

September in a school garden is one of our busiest times. We need to get started quickly to insure a harvest before the long winter break.

For those without a school garden the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has written an extensive online manual, Setting up and Running a School Garden.

For those returning to an existing garden there is much to do. Preparing the beds for another season of seed sowing and transplanting is probably the hardest job physically we will have all year. Organizing a garden day with other parents, teachers, students and volunteers is something you may want to consider.

The following ten activities should be done (more or less) in order:

1) Discuss garden rules and tool safety. For those unfamiliar with garden rules these are the basics: a) No running in the garden; b) No walking in the beds; c) No running with tools; d) Do not carry or swing tools on your back; e) Do not bring hands tools over your shoulder; f) Walk with the tool by your side, blade down; g) Return all tools to their proper place immediately after use; h) Do not leave tools in the garden; i) Anyone not following these rules does not get to work in the garden.

2) Search for dried flower heads and seed pods in which to save seed (i.e. sunflowers, marigolds, lettuce, fennel, cilantro, beans, etc).

3) Clear beds of everything other than perennials (i.e. herbs and strawberries).

4) Collect all organic refuse and compost it. For more information on composting see The School Garden Resource page at the California Waste Management Board and the 8-page pdf, Guide to Home Composting from the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

5) Add amendments (i.e. organic compost, aged manure) to existing soil, mix well and turn soil top to bottom and bottom to top. See video, How to Amend a Raised Bed.

6) Review the pdf, Vegetable Family Chart. At this time of year we will be planting cool-weather crops. There’s actually more to choose from now than there is in the spring.

7) Read seed packets for specific information regarding height and row spacing. (Taller plants go in the rear so as not to cast shadows on smaller plants.) See How to Read a Seed Packet.

8) Plan and design garden space.

9) Lay out rows. (Ideally, rows should be perpendicular to the arc of the sun.)

10) Sow seeds and/or transplant seedlings. Set up irrigation schedule.

The Ultimate School Garden

The Earth Day Network Organization worked with Cesar Chevez Elementary School in Hyattsville, Md. to construct the ultimate sustainable garden on the school grounds.

The Ultimate School Garden from Nathasha Lim on Vimeo.

Woolly School Gardens – Grow it Vertically

Woolly Pockets is sponsoring a program to bring gardens to schools. More information at woollyschoolgarden.org

Growing Minds: Installing An Educational Garden

I love a good success story, especially one that includes overcoming obstacles and coming out on top.  These are the stories that are a joy to publish.

Theresa Loe had been trying for three years to install a school garden at Center Street Elementary School in El Segundo, CA. In light of recent cutbacks she was hard pressed to find someone to step-up and help out.  She then found the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club who ended up coming through big time. Let his be lesson to all of us: never say die, never take no for an answer.

View the video below to see how it all came together, and be sure to visit Theresa’s blog, GardenFreshLiving.com , for her take on the day’s events.

Center Street School’s new garden from Borski Productions on Vimeo.

Thinning Arugula

See this previous post for more about thinning.

Video – Saving Seeds

End of summer also means end of the cycle. Plants have flowered, fruited and are putting out seeds to ensure their survival. Students returning at the start of the new term should be on the lookout for seed-bearing fruits and dried flower heads.

Week 8 – Transplanting (video)

Transplanting involves moving a plant from one place to another as well as planting seedlings that were started from seed at a different locale. The secret of successful transplanting is not to disturb the roots. Use a trowel (or hand shovel) for small plants and seedlings and a regular sized shovel for larger plants.

First thing you want to do is to dig a hole where the plant will grow, then dig up the plant to be moved trying to get as much soil around the roots of the plant as your tool will allow. Lastly, water well and often till the plant is established.