One of the great things many of us enjoy about spring is all of the newness we see around us. Bulbs begin bursting into flower, numerous shades of green from lawn grasses to tree leaves, birds belting out their choruses, and of course the warmer temperatures, are all things that make spring come alive. Newness is a wonderful thing in many areas of life and the garden is no exception. Have you considered adding some newness to your school garden? Would it be good for you as a teacher or for the students to see and experience something different in the garden this year? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities to add a fresh touch to the garden.
Perennial Vegetables – Asparagus is a perennial (returns year after year) vegetable that typically produces for 20 years or more. While they do take up more room than many vegetable crops they give you a lot of bang for your buck over the long haul. Asparagus requires well drained soil so raised beds can work well as long as consistent irrigation is provided throughout the summer. If this is not possible then in-ground beds are definitely the way to go. Learn more by checking out our Asparagus Crop Guide.
Pollinator Plants – Many pollinator plants are perennial as well. Pollinators have a lot to teach us about the diversity of our ecosystem as well as being necessary for certain crops to produce fruit. Pollinator insects often require a closer look helping students hone their observation skills. These three plants perform well in NC and can be found in many garden centers: Baptisia (Wild Indigo), Coneflower (Echinacea), Bee Balm (Monarda). Their beauty only adds to their importance in the garden.
Garden Art – Incorporating garden art of all types is a great way to involve students in the garden and showcase their talents and creativity. “Artsy” signage as well as crop labels, such as rocks painted with crop names, are a fun way to add to the garden. Towers with messages, tool shed murals, and painted planters are just a few examples to add newness to the garden through art.
The newness that educators really hope to see is the excitement that students exhibit while learning and exploring in the garden.
By this time of the year, many educators may bemoan One.More.Thing. But, maybe adding one new thing to your school garden will be just the boost you or your students need to finish the year strong.