The Q&A Archives: School Garden

Question: What kind of plants would you plant in a 12 X 12 area outside of a classroom? This will be a garden for Kindergarteners in my class. The area will get a lot of morning sun and some afternoon sun. It will be maintained by my class. We will start next week and our last day will be on June 1st. I was thinking flowers and vegetables. I am hoping you can help us out.

Answer: According to my map, you've most certainly had your last frost (especially with El Nino in the picture) so you can jump right in! If you haven't had a garden in that spot, you might want to add some organic matter, like compost or well-rotted manure, before planting. Consider having a soil test done--it may not come back in time to help you this season, but will be useful for next year's garden.<br><br>Here are a few ideas for a "kid-friendly" garden. Construct a teepee using 8' poles. Then plant climbers like scarlet runner beans and morning glories at the base (leaving a section open for the door). They'll climb up and you'll create a little shady hiding spot inside the teepee.<br><br>Sunflowers are always a big hit--andnow they come in all sizes! Plant some giant ones, and some kid-sized ones. Unfortunately, they may not flower by June 1, but they grow quickly and are fun to watch and measure. Different colored beans are fun--try a mix of yellow, green, and purple ones. Beets grow quickly, so they would be a good choice. Cucumbers can be grown up on a trellis, so they won't take too much room, and they mature quickly.<br><br>I'm not sure how many mature vegetables and flowers you'll get by June 1, but the children will surely have a good time watching things grow!

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