Ralph Williams Garden Club | 2022-2023
We started a monthly gardening club at the elementary school! Each month about 30 kids and parent volunteers meet up to learn about sustainable gardening. Then, we apply those skills to several raised beds in the back of the school.
Over the past few months, we have been creating an educational and beneficial garden behind the school. The students and teachers pass these gardens several times a day on their way to Recess, PE, and during dismissal…so it’s a pretty special thing that the whole school is experiencing the joy of watching these gardens grow.
Thanks to everyone for your support. We raised enough money to purchase new boards for the rectangle beds, as well as the screws to hold it all together.
We remove the old boards, disposed of them, and constructed new ones. So we now have two 8-foot x 4-foot raised beds.
At the end of each month, we meet up for one hour where we eat snacks, discuss a gardening topic, then head outside to apply the concepts in our garden. We have learned so much and seen so many cool things along the way.
We split up into 3 groups:
- The Flower Group – their goal is to grow flowers that are not only beautiful but encourage pollinators.
- The Food Group – their goal is to grow edible plants that taste good
- The Herb Group – their goal is to grow plants, like herbs, that smell good
We learned about what plants need and the existence of microbes in the soil, then we determined the tasks we must do to successfully grow a garden.
Thanks to Rockledge Gardens, we were gifted with lots and lots of packets of seeds. So we spent the first day observing the gardens, tossing seeds, and watering. Now we hope for the best!!
A few days after our first Garden Club meeting, Hurricane Ian (Sept. 28, 2022) made landfall just off our coast. We were hit with almost 10 inches of rain. This was great for the dry soil in our garden beds but probably washed all our seeds away. Our garden also experienced 2 nights when the temperature fell below 32 degrees, which took out a few plants.
The first year in a garden bed is always the hardest. Our goal is to get as many roots in the ground as possible. Over time, this will help improve the soil, which leads to a way more successful garden.
It’s so much fun to meet every month. The kids are so eager to show me all the new flowers, herbs, and other plants that have popped up since we last met.
This past month, there was a decent-sized tomato growing and everyone was pretty excited about it.
When we first started, we were randomly scattering hundreds of seeds, then hoping for the best. Now that things are sprouting, we are paying closer attention to what plants we’re planting and where we are planting them.
We’re learning about proper spacing, watering, and identifying plants. We’ve set up trellises to prepare for all the beans we planted, and we’re discussing insects as they are going to start showing up as the garden fills in.
It’s a lot of kids, and always chaotic, but they’re all super interested in what we’re doing and they’re asking some great questions. Stay tuned for more pictures!
It’s a lot of kids, and the meetings are always chaotic. But, it’s a good time and the kids seem to really enjoy it. Stay Tuned for more pictures.