How to Create a School Garden

Knowing how to create a school garden can result in teaching students teamwork, responsibility, horticulture, and good nutrition. Lessons can be derived for nearly every curriculum area from science to art. Gardening also teaches patience and gives students a sense of pride and purpose.


  1. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 1
    Get permission to start a school or classroom garden. Be sure your administration approves and will support your efforts. Be sure the space you use will be designated permanently for your garden.
  2. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 2
    Form a committee.
    • Recruit parents and other volunteers to help plan and run your classroom or school garden. Finding people with gardening experience would be especially helpful. The committee can help organize and schedule the activities necessary for a successful garden.
    • Decide how the garden will be funded. You may need to host a fundraiser to buy equipment and supplies. Or you could solicit donations from gardening centers or other organizations. Consider applying for a grant. Approach your school's parent/teacher organization for help.
  3. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 3
    Establish a purpose for your garden.
    • Your school garden can be used for a wide variety of learning experiences. Students learn about plants and ecology. They can learn to recycle and use organic methods of gardening. Beneficial insects can be used to control pests, for instance, instead of using pesticides. Students can keep records of their gardening progress and keep journals where they write about and draw their experiences. Learning opportunities abound.
    • Produce from the garden can be used by the school cafeteria, divided up among the students, donated to a nursing home or to a food bank.
  4. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 4
    Ensure your garden has a good chance of being successful.
    • Have a water supply close by.
    • Make sure the ground has good drainage and is on level ground.
    • The garden must get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
    • Be sure the schoolyard garden is easily visible to your students. They will remain more involved with the garden if they see it daily. Be certain it is accessible to handicapped students so that all students can be involved in the care and success of the school garden.
    • Place the garden in a safe area away from busy roads and ditches or streams where snakes or rodents might live. Think about fencing the garden to keep out unwanted visitors. You might need a locked tool shed as well.
    • Amend the soil if necessary to get a rich, fertile garden loam.
    • Decide how the garden will be tended when school is not in session - volunteers can take turns tending the garden or you can till the garden under until school starts again.
    • Choose the best plants for your area and the purpose of your garden. Crops that grow well in your climate are smart choices. Consider native plants for your area as they will be the most successful.
    • Don't expect school maintenance personnel to tend your garden. Your garden must be tended, weeded and watered by you and your students and volunteers.
  5. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 5
    Consider growing a themed garden.
    • Grow vegetable you can use to make pizza and call it a pizza garden. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil and other plants will make up this garden.
    • Grow an ethnic garden. Choose plants used in Asian or Mexican cooking, for example.
    • Plant crops that grow very big for a "giant" garden. These might include pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, and corn. You might include a beanstalk or two.
    • Think about growing a flower garden to attract butterflies, bees or hummingbirds.
    • Teach history by planting crops pioneers or Native Americans planted and harvested.
  6. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 6
    Keep a record of your garden. Students can keep their own journals, but you should keep a detailed record as well which includes materials and expenditures. Be sure to keep a record of donations and always thank your donors promptly.
  7. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 7
    Publicize your school garden in the local and school newspapers. Post information about the garden and its progress on your classroom or school website.
  8. Image titled Create a School Garden Step 8
    Treat failures and mistakes as learning experiences. Don't become discouraged. Hopefully, your school garden will become an ongoing project for many years to come.

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens