Archive for May, 2016

May 7, 2016

Building School Gardens – Raised Garden Beds-Greenhouse Beds- using durable materials is easy and moneysmart-start a school garden

You can build your own healthy school gardens that are durable and will last! Durable, cost effective, and eco-friendly:  Use all natural wood and source materials locally.

Using DURABLE and COST-EFFECTIVE materials to make your own INEXPENSIVE school raised garden and greenhouse beds…is within reach.

Suggestions for making Durable Raised Beds: use *untreated 100% natural Western Red Cedar 2″ thick boards cut in widths 2,3, or 4 feet, lengths 2,3,4,5,6, or 8 feet, and height 6, 8, 12, 16, 18, or 24 inches. Use 3.5 inch galvanized screws. Supports are needed for beds over 6 ft. long and over 18″ high. L brackets add additional corner support. Ask for assistance picking out materials and cutting/sawing wood to your specifications from your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, hardware store, and/or local wood supply stores. Use what growers for decades have used: untreated natural cedar wood (versus prefab unnatural materials) for a durable, long lasting, locally sourced, cost-effective, and eco-friendly option.

Benefits of untreated, natural western red cedar: naturally insect and rot-resistant, one of the best woods to choose when putting in contact with soil and water, and won’t leach any harmful substances. For organic growing operations, we don’t recommend substances of any kind be applied to the wood. Western Red Cedar has a very low shrinkage factor and is superior to all other coniferous woods in it’s resistance to warping, twisting, and checking (WRCLA). Grow healthy vegetables, herbs, flowers, and cover crops and minimize exposure to toxic chemicals.

Ask your local store to cut/saw your order to your specifications and deliver your order. 

*untreated = 100% natural wood that is NOT pressure treated and NOT treated with anything (to avoid leaching of unwanted substances into soil)

To stretch your growing season, you can also buy simple inexpensive materials at the hardware store to make hoop house structures over the raised bed gardens. Involving the students in the planning process is a great way to get them interested from the start. Click here to contact your local University Cooperative Extension Office for additional information for your area.

Additional information we ran across that you may find useful:

“How to Build a Wheelchair Accessible Raised Garden Bed – This Old House”: click here

USDA Grants and Loans that support farm to school activities: click here

Search for grants at click here

School Gardening – Getting Started: click here

Student Farm at UC Davis – Education Materials:  click here

Rodale’s Organic Life article “7 Secrets For A High Yield Vegetable Garden”: click here

Cornell gardening resources COMPANION PLANTING: click here

USDA The Peoples Garden Initiative: click here

Inspire…Innovate…Grow. It’s not rocket science…yet! 

Growing Year-Round

Durable Greenhouse Equipment: If you’re interested in professional grade heavy-duty germination equipment please visit our 2022 greenhouse store: click here:  

Germination Chamber Propagation ChamberPro-Grow’s smallest easy-access Germination-Propagation Chamber – model PC-22.

For links to “Seed and Seedling Biology” and “Seed Starting Mixes” on our Resources page: click here.