How to Grow a School Garden

Our 2010 book, How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers, covers everything you need to know about starting and maintaining a school garden. Written by our executive director Arden Bucklin-Sporer and director of programs Rachel Pringle, How to Grow a School Garden has been hailed as an indispensable resource for anyone interested in building school gardens.

We extracted some key passages from the book and have made them available here as free, easily downloadable PDFs. The following garden guides aim to give you an overview of the process of creating and activating a school garden. For more detailed information, please check out our book.

Section 1: Laying the Groundwork

  • First Steps

Section 2: Site Considerations

  • Getting the Most from Your Site
  • Necessary Elements
  • What Kinds of Beds

Section 3: Groundbreaking, Budgeting, and Financing

  • Financial Support
  • How to Budget
  • How to Plan a Successful Workday

Section 4: A Healthy Outdoor Classroom

  • How to Integrate Curriculum
  • Classroom Management
  • Scheduling

Section 5: Soil, Pests, and Planting

  • How to Control Pests
  • How to Plant Crops

Section 6: Cooking and Gardening

  • Cooking Classroom Management
  • Cooking Successfully
  • How to Prepare Soil

Section 7: A Long-Term Vision

  • How to Sustain a Garden Over Time

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