Kansas School Garden Guide
Welcome to the Kansas School Garden Guide! This guide is intended to help administrators, teachers, staff, volunteers, and garden organizations successfully grow and teach from a school garden. As school gardens have become more popular, there has been a corresponding increase in resources to help promote and educate in a school garden setting. However, very few of those resources touch on the practical aspects of what to plant and when, especially in the unique Kansas climate. This guide is primarily focused on vegetable gardening, although there are herbs, flowers, and grain plants included on a more limited basis.
If you are just getting started with developing a school garden, this guide will help you think through some of the most common school garden challenges in Kansas. These include weather, water, and soil. The guide does not provide a step-by-step process, but does point you to many of the exceptional school gardening resources available for help in the development and starting of a garden.
If you are looking for ways to incorporate the garden into your classroom or afterschool curriculum, there are dozens of links provided to a wide range of different types of lesson plans and curricula - some free and others available for purchase. In addition, when discussing plant choices, there are some additional thoughts on learning opportunities that may work for you.
The biggest challenge for many teachers, administrators, and volunteers is figuring out how to fit a garden into the school year, what to plant, and when. The largest section of this guide is devoted to a series of garden templates with notes on planting times, methods, spacings, and how to adapt the plans for your unique circumstances. If you are a novice gardener, these templates should give you a place to start so that your focus can be on educating from the garden rather than figuring out how to grow a garden. If you are a more experienced gardener, these templates may give you some new ideas for how to plant in a school garden setting and explore some new plants and crops.