How to: Construct your garden
Once you have assessed your space, planned your garden, and chosen the type of crops you would like to grow, it’s time to start building your space. Building structures provide a great opportunity to learn about recycling and re-using, which in turn will save your school money.
- Using Recycled Materials (Garden Organic Activity sheet S4.11)
- Tool and use matching game (Garden Organic Activity Sheet A3)
Sourcing your recycled materials
Start by asking parents and local businesses for the material you need, like scaffolding planks, floorboards, bottles, old containers for planting etc.... Second hand wood & materials can also be found at local scaffolding companies, or second hand specialists:
Constructing your own school garden
Constructing your own school garden offers a fantastic opportunity to use food growing as a tool for curriculum learning in subjects such as Design and Technology. Projects can be adapted to all ages and abilities, from small scale to complicated design projects.
Simple construction projects
- Making a container- you can use any container to grow food, simply make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom – how to check if your container is safe to use? (the Micro Gardener), Making containers out of (almost) anything (You Grow Girl)
- Building a self-watering container (Root Simple guide) (download pdf instructions here)
- Making waterproof plant labels - using all kinds of recycled material from milk bottles to stones and broken crockery (The Micro Gardener)
- Making an indoor container garden (The garden Glove)
- Building bird feeders (RSPB), 32 different designs (Happy Hooligans)
More advanced construction projects
- Building a raised bed - Garden Organic Activity Sheet A10, Gardeners World video, RHS Information Sheet, Thrive Information Leaflet (using bricks, paving slabs, railways sleepers and scaffolding boards)
- Building a heated propogator (Garden Organic Activity Sheet A57)
- Building a bottle glasshouse (REAP Scotland)
- Building a cold frame – Cold Frame handbook
- Building a garden path (Garden Organic Activity Sheet A16)
- Making a herb spiral (Garden Organic Activity Sheet A37)
Edible Playgrounds by Trees for Cities
Edible Playgrounds, run by our partner Trees for Cities, transform outdoor spaces in school grounds into green growing spaces, giving children the opportunity to grow, harvest and eat healthy food. We will do a full survey of the school grounds, help with fundraising, consult and engage parents, teachers and pupils as well as design and build the Edible Playground. For a full year we’ll run monthly training sessions for teachers and help embed the playground into your school’s curriculum – turning it into an outdoor classroom. All with the help of a designated Edible Playground Coordinator. Have a look at the growing community of Edible Playgrounds in London schools: www.edibleplaygrounds.org/edible-playground-community
Garden Organic have an in-depth library of learning resources for schools including games, growing activity sheets, construction projects, wildlife projects, planning advice, posters, booklets and templates: www.gardenorganic.org.uk/schools. They were produced to support the Food For Life School Awards scheme.