Ten Tips on Gardening with Kids via American Community Gardening Council

Ten Tips on Gardening with Kids via American Community Gardening Council

Ten Tips on Gardening with Kids via American Community Gardening CouncilLogo desktop 2x

1. Kid gardens must be kid-based.
This means that kids help generate the ideas for what will be there, help with construction and planting, and are responsible for maintenance. Grown-up’s need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything. Focus on the process of involving them, and they will then take ownership.

2. Develop the garden to be appropriate for the site and regional conditions.
Involve the kids in the site analysis process so they understand how important the light, soil, drainage and other environmental factors are to having a garden. Develop the garden so the features and plant choices are adapted to local conditions, so you are not “working against nature.”

3. Focus on functional garden design, not how it will look.
Start the design process by determining what the children want to be doing and learning in the garden. Base the features on the practical functions they will serve, and don’t worry too much about aesthetics. Gardens that serve as hands-on learning laboratories for kids will be beautiful because they are well-used and well-loved spaces. Also remember that the children’s sense of what is pretty may not be yours; that’s ok because the garden is their space.

Read Ten Tips on Gardening with Kids via American Community Gardening Council


Learn more about community gardens with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Saturday Sprouts Club helps kids find roots via Rutland Herald

Saturday Sprouts Club helps kids find roots via Rutland Herald

Saturday Sprouts Club helps kids find roots via Rutland Herald

PITTSFORD — The Pittsford Village Farm isn’t just growing vegetables: It’s growing gardeners.

And in Pittsford, they start them young.

From 11 a.m. to noon every Saturday, the Pittsford Village Farm Community Garden hosts its new Sprouts Club, teaching young people the ins and outs of gardening, from earth worms and healthy soil to different varieties of cherry tomatoes.

The club was the brainchild of co-founder Laurie Kamuda of Kamuda’s Country Market, who wanted to do something for the community garden, and the local kids as well.

So she, fellow community member Ginny Carroccia and community garden coordinator Krysta Piccoli decided to join forces and put the two ideas together: a kids garden club, with an 8-foot by 20-foot community garden plot all their own.

Read Saturday Sprouts Club helps kids find roots via Rutland Herald


Learn more about community gardens with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Solar panel lights up the Community Garden via UCalgary

Solar panel lights up the Community Garden via UCalgary

Solar panel lights up the Community Garden via UCalgary

Summer took a little longer than usual to arrive this year, but it was worth the wait for members of the UCalgary Community Garden Club near Cascade Hall — a new garden shed has been equipped with off-grid solar that will provide some electricity in a sustainable way to help power phones and other equipment.

Every year, the Community Garden Club invites dozens of members to connect with food by planting, tending and harvesting a bounty of fresh organic vegetables. This year, thanks to the help of another campus club, Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE), the gardeners will be able to plug in while they work.

Read Solar panel lights up the Community Garden via UCalgary

More information on raised bed gardening

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Community Garden Plots: Make the Most of Limited Space via Green Living Ideas

Community Garden Plots: Make the Most of Limited Space via Green Living Ideas

Community Garden Plots: Make the Most of Limited Space via Green Living Ideas

1)   INTERPLANT: this is a technique that can be planted once or used with succession planting (tip #2). If planting your garden at one time companion planting can be used. Companion planting is when planting certain plants next to each other so that they gain mutual benefit in some way. An example of this is to plant basil next to trellised tomatoes. As the tomatoes grow up, lower leaves can be pruned, while basil is pinched to become bushy.

2)   SUCCESSION: when one plant has come to the end of it’s life span, then something else can be planted in the space that was created. An example of succession planting: when spinach is harvested by the roots, lettuce can then be planted. Since lettuce will go to seed (or bolt) in heat, this space can then be planted with beets for fall harvest. Depending on your plant choices and your location, 2-3 crops can come from the same space.

3)   VERTICAL: Trellises to grow plants up are great for vining and climbing plants like beans, peas, cucumbers, and certain types of small melons. I’ve made trellises in an upside-down “V” shape so that vining plants will cover the ground with shade, which then will extend the harvest of plants that like cooler temperatures and less sunlight, such as lettuce.

4)    DESIGN DIFFERENT: think outside the box of your plot… or better said, is think different inside the box. Now that the plot is designed using a vertical element such as trellising, how about not thinking in the mono-cropped pattern of rows? When using a design such as the keyhole garden, you eliminate most of the pathways and increase growing space. The way to create a keyhole is plan out a circle in the center of the plot, then one pathway going into the garden. In this way you can sit in the middle of the garden and reach all the way around you. Scale the circle to allow for 3-4 feet from the edge of the circle to the edge of the garden plot to assure you can read all areas of your garden.

Read Community Garden Plots: Make the Most of Limited Space via Green Living Ideas

More information on raised bed gardening

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Community Garden Raised Bed Tool Kit (PDF) via the New York State Health Department

Community Garden Raised Bed Tool Kit (PDF) via the New York State Health Department

Community Garden Raised Bed Tool Kit

Raised beds are a good idea for community gardens for a number of reasons. They solve drainage problems, make weeding easier and reduce soil compaction. In addition, because community gardens are often created in urban areas where soil contamination is common, raised beds can provide a means of reducing exposure to harmful chemicals. If you use raised beds, you can avoid planting directly in contaminated soil.

There are many ways to turn a vacant piece of land into a garden. Here is how one group built raised bed community gardens from the ground up in Utica, NY.

Community Garden Raised Bed Tool Kit (PDF)

Read Community Garden Raised Bed Tool Kit (PDF) via the New York State Health Department

More information on raised bed gardening

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

8 Great Tips to Start a Community Garden via Sunset Magazine

8 Great Tips to Start a Community Garden via Sunset Magazine

8 Great Tips to Start a Community Garden via Sunset Magazine

Looking to bring your local neighborhood closer together through growing greens? Here’s what you need to know

A green beginning

There are tons of benefits to having a community garden: stronger sense of community, promoting healthy eating, learning what it really takes to grow your food. It’s also a great way to make gardening a possibility for those living in urban homes with less yard room, and to create a healthy town center for citizens of all ages.

But where should you start if you’d like a community garden of your own? We chatted with Rodney Spencer, the executive director of City Slicker Farms, which provides community gardens for West Oakland residents, to hear his top tips on how to get started.

Read 8 Great Tips to Start a Community Garden via Sunset Magazine

Learn more about community gardens with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Pat’s Top 5 Spring Garden Hacks via IdeaStations

Pat’s Top 5 Spring Garden Hacks via IdeaStations

Pat's Top 5 Spring Garden Hacks via IdeaStations

As your spring garden stretches and unfurls, more intense heat and cute but oh-so-pesky garden pests are also making their timely appearances.

Here are a few of my favorite garden hacks to keep your spring edibles producing abundantly.

1. Upcycle Wine Bottles

Upcycle old wine or fancy water bottles by filling them with H2O and inserting them upside down in the soil to provide your plants’ roots with just the right amount of moisture. The bottle will create a vacuum so that it only waters at the rate at which the soil dries. I like to find beautiful cobalt blue and olive green bottles and remove the labels (another project in itself) so that these functional pieces add an interesting artistic touch to the garden as well.

2. Pick Out the Pests

In order to keep up with leaf-munching insects while avoiding insecticides (even the natural ones), take the Zen monk approach and simply do a little up-close garden appreciation stroll daily. 

Read Pat’s Top 5 Spring Garden Hacks via IdeaStations

More information on raised bed gardening

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our organization
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library