Thank you to all teachers who attended our Fall Planning and Planting Workshops! We took the opportunity to share resources, listen to ideas from garden leads from various schools, and hand out seeds & seedlings! If you have not yet prepared your garden beds, check out our Preparing Your Garden for Fall Planting post.
Coordinating the Planting Day
Schools have a variety of ways of sharing the Learning Garden for planting. Tips and strategies can be found in our Managing Your School’s Planting Day document. Other strategies mentioned during the workshop include:
- having a buddy planting day: an older grade and a younger grade work together to plant the garden. Only half a class comes out at one time (30 students total) and then switch.
- a different kind of buddy planting day: having Special Education classes join older classes during their planting day
- having each teacher pick their own date to plant so they can go at any time during their day
You can find additional resources on our Managing Your School Garden page. There you can find: editable Garden Team Invitations (in both English and Spanish); Volunteer Recruitment Posters (in both English and Spanish); and Staff Garden Team Invitations.
Materials for the Planting Day
We recommend teachers prepare their students for the planting day. The Rule Making Activity was recommend by workshop teachers to be done the same day students plant (prior to them coming out to the garden). This is a great way to remind students that the Learning Garden is an outdoor classroom.
Planting Strings, formerly referred to as Seed Spacers or the Non-Standard Measuring Tool, are useful for properly spacing seeds in the soil. Properly spaced plants can create cool micro-climates in the soil reducing evaporation and creating a slightly humid environment. Spacing too close together or too far apart can increase pests issues, invite animals, and stunt plant growth.
Watering your plants is the most important maintenance task in the garden. We recommend having your entire class participate by making Upcycled Watering Cans from recyclable half gallon jugs or by using the Little Rain Clouds method. Remember to water the soil deeply every day for 3-7 days before the planting day to regain soil moisture!
Seeds and Seedlings
All schools will be provided with the seeds they will need to grow crops in their Learning Garden. If you did not attend the workshop you will receive your seeds in the mail or during a Big Green-led planting day. In this mailing you will also be provided with the Fall Garden Plan which contains growing and harvesting information for the crops! If you had a problem with cat feces, you will receive a cover crop and additional information.
If you received or acquired seedlings prior to the planting day, make sure to check/water them daily. Prior to planting, both the seedlings and the garden soil should be moist to minimize plant shock. Water the seedlings after planting as well.
Seedlings handed out:
- Onion bulb, Candy – matures in 100-115 days, requires full sun & even moisture. Divide each individual stem to form onion bulbs. Space a minimum of 6″ apart.
- Broccoli – matures in 40-70 days, harvest while the buds are tightly closed. Full sun, water regularly.
- Chard, Red or Multicolored varieties – matures in 28-55 days, requires full sun & even moisture
- Kale, Scarletbor – matures in 40- 70 days, requires full sun
- Strawberries (various varieties) – matures in 60+ days, requires full sun & even moisture
Please reach out to your Garden Educator with any questions! Our next workshop will be the Harvest Workshop.