Children and Nature Network says it best: “Spending time in nature enhances educational outcomes by improving children’s academic performance, focus, behavior and love of learning.” This info-graphic includes references to research that shows the positive impacts of using school gardens and other natural learning environments as teaching tools
DeKalb County has an excellent climate for nearly year-round gardening, and school gardens can help build school community and encourage students (and teachers!) to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. School gardens also provide habitat for critical pollinator species like Monarch butterflies and native bees.
Finally, a school garden is an outdoor laboratory, providing curricular connections to all subjects and opportunities for experimentation and STEAM projects. School gardens bring learning to life.
Clear Out Summer Veggies and Weeds
Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers and winter squash may still be going strong. If you have enough garden space to leave healthy, producing summer veggies that can hang on through September, then let them be. If your summer veggies have slowed production and don’t look so good, pull them out. Vegetable pests and diseases can survive a compost pile, therefore these old plants are best either trashed or thrown in the woods rather than added to compost piles that will be eventually used in the garden.
Amend Garden Soil With Compost
Plant Fall Veggies
- Check Georgia Organic’s School Garden Planting and Harvest Calendar
- Direct seed into garden through mid-September: Beets, Collards, Kale, Radish, Spinach, Lettuce
- Transplant seedlings through mid-September: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard
Fall Cover Crops
If you have bare soil anywhere, consider planting a fall cover crop to improve soil and reduce pests/disease. PRO-TIP: buy wheat or rye and sprouting clover in bulk at your local natural foods store. A little clover seed goes a long way!
Green Teacher Magazine is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping educators, both inside and outside of schools, promote environmental awareness among young people aged 6-19. The quarterly Green Teacher magazine offers perspectives on the role of education in creating a sustainable future, practical articles and ready to use activities for various age levels, and reviews of dozens of new educational resources.
DeKalb teachers have free access!
Contact Kyla Van Deusen for subscription information.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-874-7138
Aug 25 2018: Sagamore Hills STEM teacher Stephanie Spencer in the AJC
July 20 2018: Eldridge E Miller Gets Outdoor Classroom and Greenhouse, The DeKalb Free Press
April 6 2018: Students Planting Orchards at Lithonia Schools, Crossroads News
Wadsworth STEM Garden, DCSD Trusted News
Nov 25 2016: DeKalb Gets Golden Radish Award for Farm to School, Crossroads News
Sept 14, 2014 Druid Hills HS Eagle Scout Builds Garden Beds, Crossroads News
April 12, 2013 Toney Elementary Student Starts a Garden, Crossroads News