Nowadays, many schools are starting school garden activities. Schools prepare many things for this, including the concept which will attract students to participate in it. Course there’s a catch- this activity’s success depends on the school’s choice of the concept.
That is why it’s important to build the school garden properly. To make a school garden really special, you can use some of these concepts and styles mentioned in this article.
If you’re still confused about what type of garden to plant at your child’s school, don’t worry. Keep scrolling for some ideas to choose from.
How To Start A Garden At Your School
It is important to obtain permission from the principal and all individuals responsible for maintaining school property before establishing a garden.
Find The Mentors
You should look for a mentor to lead the school garden club if you don’t have teachers or educators leading this project as part of their curriculum. Another possible resource is your nearby university extension office that might have a Master Gardener program.
Find Perfect Site For The Garden
Consider sites that get six hours or more of direct sunlight daily during the growing season (typically spring through autumn) and have enough space for irrigation. Look for areas south-facing, with good drainage.
In-Ground Or Raised Bed Garden
Decide whether to make a raised bed garden by building a border mat or digging one in the dirt and adding fresh topsoil into the container.
Test The Soil Quality
Before you even start to think about digging a garden in an outdoor space, make sure the soil is safe for planting. If the soil is contaminated or just not fertile enough, you might want to use containers and pots instead of your neighborhood park.
Decide What To Plant
Have each student in the class vote on which plants to grow. Some good suggestions are herbs, leafy greens, radishes, and other short-growing vegetables and fruits. Students also learn about the USDA plant hardiness zones, a map with numbered “zones” that tells gardeners which fruits and vegetables grow well in a given region.
Make A List Of Supplies And How To Get
Determine what you will need to dig, plant, weed, and water the garden? Develop a list of supplies and brainstorm ways of collecting more than just supplies–what if you also could borrow or receive donated supplies.
Create A Schedule And List Of Duties
Make arrangements for who will maintain the garden during duty hours; if this is a school project, weed and water it during class time. If this is an extracurricular activity, tend to the garden after school or at lunchtime. Create a schedule with responsibilities for each student so that the garden can be cared for properly.
Decide What To Do With Your Harvest
Will you donate your harvest to the school cafeteria, share it with the whole class, or donate some to a local food bank? This is a great opportunity for cooperative strategy and understanding different ways of giving back to our community.
Lesson Ideas To Use In School Garden For Stem
As part of their curriculum, many schools are starting to introduce school garden activities. No wonder the traditional school garden is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about plant life and consumption, and local culture.
Your school may not have the necessary room for an epic flower garden, but you can still make your classroom into a little oasis with planting beds alongside windows.
Here are some extra STEM activities for your school garden. Just make sure your students have a pair of gloves and a hat when they take on the job!
Learn About Weeds
Establishing a school garden entails responsibility for upkeep. No worries, this is another learning experience! Students may not be familiar with the different types of weeds found in a garden, which means they will also learn how to control these weeds.
The school garden also provides an opportunity to talk about the impact of weeds and how they spread (wind, water, animals, or dumping) while taking your students on a bushwalk.
Learn About Composting
If you’re looking to teach the value of composting vegetable waste, use the school garden as a demonstration. The school garden can be a useful teaching tool where students learn about recycling and emulate natural processes. You could also set up a worm farm, but make sure students wear facial masks and wash their hands after handling compost.
Learn Propagation Techniques
Plant propagation techniques are commonly used in the modern nursery. Providing these opportunities for students allows them to learn these skills that will be valuable as they grow older.
We recommend that you work with other community members to create a small greenhouse. Some quick research into the local hardware store could provide shelves, plant trays, plant rooting hormones, and simple tools to get things started.
If you’re on a budget, consider setting up a mini-greenhouse using milk crates, cable ties, and plastic sheeting.
Whilst you are at it, this might be a great opportunity to speak with horticulturalist that is more experienced and ask them any questions your students may have.
Create An Indigenous Garden
Instead of planting the classic plants available worldwide, you can also plant the indigenous plants typical to your area.
Speak with your community council or bush care group to find out what plants you might be able to put into your school.
You might even find free plants worth National Tree Day.
While it may seem like sprawling out the largest, prettiest flowers is enough to make your school garden look enchanting and attractive, other factors contribute to its appearance. To increase diversity in your school’s garden, try planting various plants of different shapes and sizes known to associate together within your area’s plant community.
We’ve held some webinars to help schools launch their very own green campus. Giving students some responsibility in the design of your school garden will give them ownership, respect, and interest.
Create Experimental Plots
Planting a school vegetable patch offers students an excellent opportunity to work with land and experiment plots.
There are many variables that students can control, including the plant species, watering schedule, and more. The actual earth you put the plants in provides some variables such as pH, texture, and salinity to keep in mind.
Your students could investigate how one of these variables changes the height, the number of leaves, the color of the leaves, or the number of fruits.
Students can also document their learning by keeping a classroom blog, which could be managed via an app like Trello.
Ensure that your student experimental plots are labeled with the student’s name, plant species, plot number, date of the trial, and the variable being tested! This will ensure accurate data collection.
Make A Bush Foods Garden
Adding indigenous plant species to your school garden is a good idea. This may increase the probability of planting in native ‘bush tucker’ (aka, traditional Aboriginal food) plants too.
You can purchase plants for the garden at your local nursery, or you can have a local elder visit to talk about plants they would recommend. Allow them to speak with students about traditional ways of using plants in the region, including soap making, dyes, rope crafting– whatever interests them.
Students should go with a trusted expert before consuming plants found in the wild. This is important safety information that you should emphasize to them.
The partnership between the school and their elders makes an excellent example of balancing creativity with traditional skills. The National Indigenous Science Education Program at Macquarie University promotes a balanced approach that includes traditional knowledge and science skills.
Schools are starting to include school garden activities to get students into science. In addition, the concept is meant to help scientists learn more about traditional methods of using plants found in Australia. This can be applicable for agriculture and medicine as well.
Measure The Weather
You could provide students with the materials to set up rain gauges. This will allow them to collect data about local climate conditions to which your school garden is exposed.
You could attach experimental sensors to the outside of your greenhouse to use them to collect data on temperature and humidity levels.
Discover Student Misconceptions
Simply walking students through the school garden can offer insight into their thoughts about plants. It can be surprising to learn that they have a jumbled understanding of terms such as ‘fruit,’ ‘seed,’ or ‘root.’ They may not know the differences between a drupe and leaf, for example.
Have Students Create A Journal
Perhaps you could get students who go to the garden to keep a journal on the animals they find in it.
Using leaf litter in your garden will attract students to want to look underneath it for little critters scurrying around. Watching where bees are traveling back and forth will also get students interested in keeping an eye on the natural beauty of the world around them.
It might be a great opportunity to discuss how bees navigate with the help of the Sun!. You could also have students take recordings of bird sounds in the area.
Setting up a school garden can be an effort that takes the whole community. I see schools host working bees where families come to work together for just one day. They plant and mulch all afternoon, leaving behind great plant beds ready for future planting.
Schools often need donations of mulch and wood to stock their garden projects. Ask around among builders or timber stores in your area if they have any leftovers, as this will reduce the cost of materials for your project.
Usually, more businesses will donate soil and fertilizer for the garden beds. You can showcase them in your school newsletter to show appreciation. A win-win situation is ideal.
One way to encourage student participation is by designing the garden to help draw attention to some aspects, including agriculture and the environment.
List Of School Garden Ideas
Learn The Alphabet On The Garden Path
Unlike the previous concept, you can create a garden that is also becoming a learning medium for students. Arrange the stones by writing each letter of the alphabet on each. This concept is appropriate for young children who are just starting to learn the alphabet and words.
You can also install a fence made of colorful wooden pencils to surround the garden.
The Simple Beauty Can
Depending on your available materials, you can create a water bottle/bucket too. Start by making a hole in the bottom of the container using nails or screws to drain excess water. Then hammer up an opening near the mouth of the receptacle where it will either be hung on a wall or hand-held with use from a hook.
To create an enchanting and attractive school garden, you can ask students to color the unused cans they have brought and put the flower basket. You can also help your students attach tin pots to wooden boards provided by you.
The Snail Garden
One of the best school garden ideas is The Snail Garden. Not only does it look great, but the uniqueness will also make your students feel comfortable lingering in the garden. Just by laying a few large rocks painted like snail shells, that’s all you need for this concept.
The Turtles Line Up On Path
The school garden ideas above are unique, but many are also similar in some way. Putting a few miniature turtles made from reused items along the way to the classroom is not a bad option. You may also want to place other decorations near your student’s seed planter or in the ground around it.
School Garden With Rabbit-shaped Stone
The monotonous garden display will inevitably bore students through school garden activities. That’s why it never hurts to beautify the garden with some interesting but environmentally friendly decorations.
One example is by replacing some stones with stone sculptures. Black Rabbit Figurines can be placed in corners or near a large pot – add personality and charm to the garden.
Old Tyres For A Planter Or Even A Small Pond
Old tires are well suited to planters and can be a freeway to creating them. Tractor tires are even better as they need more soil.
One way to make tires into a small pond is to use a pond liner inside them. They can also be painted for more color and brightness. Tires are also useful for making herb gardens too.
Add Bird Feeding Station
Bird feeders will attract visitors to your garden space. Students also love the responsibility of checking for and re-filling bird feeders during school holiday times. It is always worth having an idea in place, like with many other jobs, so that you know when they can be filled during school holidays.
Install Bird Nesting Boxes
Nesting birds are a wonder for students, especially when a camera is installed in the box. Boxes vary based on the kind of birds and what location you place your box in. Painting or making boxes for nesting birds is also enjoyable.
An Attractive Garden With Placing A Birdcage
Building an attractive garden will make students enjoy their activities. In addition to planting flowering plants, you can also decorate the garden with some items.
You can highlight the school garden by placing a birdcage made of wood that is as attractive as possible. Not only will this cage be captivating to your students, but they will also have the opportunity to take care of some small birds.
Garden Ruler Path Ideas
Designing a path in the garden along the side of a ruler is an excellent idea. Elementary students will be able to learn about numbers or sizes in a fun way.
To make the garden more visually interesting, consider planting various colorful flowers next to the paved walkway. You can also incorporate some other objects for visual interest. For instance, you might plant pots that are made from those old boots and filled with flowers or leafy plants – in other words, anything that looks nice!
Decorative Puppet Shaped Pot For Garden Ideas
Decorating pots to put the plants in is a common practice. However, it’s not just the children who can do this. You can ask the students to help decorate the pot with tape or paper, too, drawing on some facial features for effect.
Place your upside-down pot in the same size. Use small pots or containers that can be arranged in a way as if they were limbs on a person with string or ribbon (students should do this). Ask each student to care for this pair of potted dolls.
The Flower Bottle School Garden Ideas
Two other concepts you can experiment with are the White Swan and flowery plants. Students could use their imagination to design bottles that double as flowers in a beautiful garden vase to maintain a natural garden.
Teachers can also use every flower bed as a student assignment. For example, ask students to maintain these plants and report about them periodically.
White Goose On The Garden
Have you grown tired of using bottles as planter pots? Thankfully, there are many ways to spruce them up. For starters, make sure they’re clean and free from dirt by washing them in clean water. Next, paint the bottle with a color that suits your garden best. Arrange them into a circle shape at its center for an enchanting
Plant a bottleneck in the ground, filling it with soil and fertilizer. Add colorful flowers to complete the scene. Cut down a small board and carve it into a goose’s neck shape for added effect.
For a tidier look, you can attach this wood board to the back of the bottle arrangement.
Hanging Bottle Planter Ideas
One goal of school garden activities is to use resources that are available already. No wonder if schools often ask students to bring unused items at home, like an old bottle of coke.
You and your student can wash off the dirt on the bottle before use it. Cut it horizontally, using its mouth as a water drain, discard the cap to become the water drain hole. Make a hole in the edge of a bottle for rope or wire with shears.
Fill the bottle with soil and fertilizer, then add plants. This idea is perfect for schools that don’t have enough space to build a garden – you can even put it outside your classroom.
School Garden With The Lantern Bottle
The Lantern Bottle is a similar concept to the first example. However, it is more attractive. You can cut papers into squares and cover the slits in a bottle with them. Afterward, paint or decorate as desired.
Unlike the old school garden idea of filling a bottle with soil and seeds, this one is easy: fill a small pot with plants.
Post The Unused Bottle In The Garden Wall
One way to create a unique and beautiful school garden is by hanging bottles off the wall. Students can easily reach the height of these unused bottles if they are stuck onto a board on the wall, with space for several neck sizes.
These colors can make the walls of a school garden look more attractive, especially if you choose a bright paint color.
To maintain a dry garden surface, choose drought-resistant plants that do not demand much water.
Plus, you can use coral rock patches to beautify these plants truly.
Having seen several attractive and unique school garden ideas above, we also need to think about some things. You can work with the local designers for help in building the school garden perfectly.
In addition, you’ll need to ask students for their input about how to create a sustainable and comfortable school garden. This includes the area of the garden itself. Make sure it’s safe for both teachers and students.
So, which school garden ideas will be most effective for your school?