If you're planning a school garden for the first time, there are a range of questions to consider. Some of these are listed below.
About the plan...
- What are your goals in starting a school or class garden?
- How do you plan to use the garden as an instructional tool?
- Do you have support from the administration and custodian?
- What kinds of tools and supplies will you need?
- How much will it cost and how can you find funds and materials?
- How can you ensure maintenance of the garden during the summer?
About the potential site...
- Is it well drained?
- Is it easily accessible and protected from vandalism?
- Does it have full sunlight for at least six hours a day?
- Is it reasonably level?
- Does it have access to water?
- How healthy is the soil? Do you have at least 6 to 12 inches of topsoil? What needs to be done to prepare or enhance the soil?
About cultivating support...
- Can you ask parents to donate materials, help prepare the site, work with students, or provide support through the summer?
- Are there local farmers or gardeners who might help prepare the site (e.g., provide plowing, manure, or lime)?
- Are there local garden clubs, senior centers, master gardeners, or high school groups who might be willing to work with students in the garden?
- Are there nursery or local business people who might be willing to "adopt" your program and/or donate gardening tools and supplies, materials for building raised beds, and so on?