School Garden - Knowledgebase Question

Bacliff, TX
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Question by wcapwell
February 27, 1998
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 from NGA
February 27, 1998
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.

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.

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.

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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