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Getting Started

There are many things to consider before creating a school garden. The most important step in starting a garden is to outline your objectives. Determining the goals and reasons for building the garden is important if the garden is to be successful. Many schools have developed a mission statement, which not only helps guide the garden project, but also may serve as a proposal when applying or asking for funds and donations to build the garden.

In order to determine your objectives, explore goals that are important to you as the teacher, your students, and your school and school district. Even if the garden you wish to start will be small, having goals will help you use the garden to its fullest extent. Involving school and school district goals may help you when asking for a budget and when you're involving parents and the community, as well as when you apply your garden activities to your classroom lessons.

Once you have determined your objectives, the next step is organizing. Determine what you and your students want in a garden. Involving your students in the planning is very important, if not crucial. Not only will students feel bonded to the garden through their help in planning it, they will inspire ideas for creating the garden.

There is a great deal to be learned in this step, from determining what plants will grow in your area to correct placement of the garden, and even soil testing. The more you involve your students, the more successful your garden will become!

The next step is to determine who will help you in building and maintaining your garden. Locating outside sources, such as parents, community gardeners, local gardeners and even local professional horticulturists is important. These outside sources can help you develop your garden, find funding and plant material, and even provide skills and useful information that will enhance your and your students' gardening experience.

Once you have determined your goals and who will help you reach these goals, the next step is to get the garden underway.

There are many resources available to help you start your school garden.

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rake, shovel and hoe crayon drawing


School Gardens
University of Florida
P.O. Box 110675
Gainesville, FL 32611-0675