Fall (September – November)

  • Pull weeds: make sure the students pull from the base of the plant and get all of
    the roots.
  • Turn soil in vegetable beds: get ready for cool season planting.
  • Fertilize: best to use compost, but also okay to use organic fertilizer.
  • Mulch: place ~3 inches of mulch around perennials and mature vegetable plants,
    keeping mulch off stems. This keeps plants cool in hot weather, warm in cold
    weather, locks in moisture and decays over time adding important nutrients and
    improving the texture of the soil.
  • Turn compost: have 2 or 3 students working on one bin at a time.
  • Water: vegetables 2-3 times a week, perennials once a week.
  • Dead head: pinch (or cut) off dead flowers from perennial plants.
  • Check for volunteer transplants: dig up plants that have self-seeded and save to
    be given away or used for plant sales.
  • Harvest seeds: make seed balls, sell, give as gifts.
  • Bump up: take transplants and repot if they need a bigger pot.
  • Thin: make sure plants are properly spaced according to seed packet instructions
    (look up online if seed packets are no longer available).

Winter (November – February)

  • Pull weeds: make sure the students pull from the base of the plant and get all ofthe roots.
  • Water: vegetables 2-3 times a week, perennials once a week.
  • Mulch: place ~3 inches of mulch around perennials and mature vegetable plants,
    keeping mulch off stems. This keeps plants cool in hot weather, warm in cold
    weather, and locks in moisture.
  • Turn compost: have 2 or 3 students working on one bin at a time.
  • Prune: after Valentine’s Day, cut back stems to the first green leaves for
    perennials. Annuals that have completed their life cycle (most vegetables) can
    be pulled, cut into smaller pieces, and added to the compost.

Spring (February – May)

  • Pull weeds: make sure the students pull from the base of the plant and get all of
    the roots.
  • Turn soil in vegetable beds: get ready for cool season plants like onions and
    potatoes in February and warm season plants in March.
  • Fertilize: best to use compost, but also okay to use organic fertilizer.
    Mulch: place ~3 inches of mulch around perennials and mature vegetable plants,
    keeping mulch off stems. This keeps plants cool in hot weather, warm in cold
    weather locks in moisture and decays over time adding important nutrients and
    improving the texture of the soil.
  • Turn compost: have 2 or 3 students working on one bin at a time.
  • Water: vegetables 2-3 times a week, perennials once a week.
  • Dead head: pinch (or cut) off dead flowers.
  • Check for volunteer transplants: dig up plants that have self-seeded and save to
    be given away or used for plant sales.
  • Bump up: take transplants and repot if they need a bigger pot.
  • Thin: make sure plants are properly spaced according to seed packet instructions
    (look up online if seed packets are no longer available).
Email Sign Up
Sign up to receive our latest email updates!
Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.