School Gardening - Knowledgebase Question

Skaneateles Falls, NY
Avatar for jmd43
Question by jmd43
October 28, 1997
I am a student at Cornell University. This spring I will be working with children at a elementary school. The time period will be from April to June. I would like to grow a variety of different vegtables, that will produce a variety of different colors. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Answer from NGA
October 28, 1997
First, will you be working in an indoor or outdoor garden? You can start planting some things--peas, spinach, etc.--outdoors in late April/early May. Other vegetables you'll need to start indoors, to get them ready to plant in the garden in mid-May.

I suggest you stick with plants that are relatively easy and quick to grow--working with children in a garden can be challenging, and you want to make their gardening experience--and yours--rewarding. (Though "failures" in the garden can teach important lessons--for all of us!)

One idea is to grow unusual colors or shapes of common vegetables. For example, purple and yellow beans, golden beets, red leaf lettuce. Other interesting plants include white pumpkins, red cabbage, 'Thumbelina' (golf-ball shaped) carrots--but since you will only be working with the students until June, many of these plants won't mature in time for you to enjoy them. Will the students continue to garden over the summer? There are so many wonderfulthings to grow--but April to June doesn't give you much time for getting many vegetables to mature. If you will be growing only indoors, submit another question with more specifics and we'll try to come up with more options.

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