After years of inattention, school gardens are back in focus. It may be a good time for a garden reboot!
Spend time rethinking your school garden purpose.
Is it solely a horticultural effort or is the garden really tied to the school curriculum? Ensure that you are getting the most of the garden. A well thought-out garden plan can be used to teach history, geography, math and English. Planting a plot of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans can be a segue to history and geography. Creating a Sarah, Plain and Tall garden is a refreshing way to teach literature. Use your imagination and creative thinking to make the most out of your garden space.
Strengthen your volunteer core.
The work of the garden cannot be the responsibility of one or two teachers. The weeding, watering and garden maintenance have to be shared work, hopefully with volunteers. How do you recruit garden volunteers? Do you have a school garden committee as part of your PTA or PTO? Can upper level students help? Plan your garden size based on how much garden maintenance help you have. A smaller, well maintained garden space is better than a larger unmaintained space.
Make a summer plan.
Summer is coming. Make sure you have a plan for summer garden care. Will you plant cover crops or put the garden to bed over the summer months? Coming back to a garden mess is not an option.
Most importantly, enjoy the garden. Enjoy having the students learning outside. It has been a hard couple of years. Here are some resources that could be helpful: