Summer is coming!

I know I know, it’s just officially spring and I’m not ignoring the beautifully colored tulips  in the school courtyard or the thriving springtime garden that the School Garden Project planted with the students. But if you want to start your summer plants indoors, now is the perfect time!

4th and 5th graders did just that at Clear Lake Elementary last week. We started with about 60 trays, that’s room for over 350 little seedlings to grow. By the end of the morning we had filled and planted all the trays that will stay in the mini-greenhouse until a plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend.

We set the six planting trays onto a larger tray, like the ones you might see at a restaurant (light blue in the picture below). It makes watering all the plants easier as they grow bigger. You can just add water to the big tray and it waters all six at the same time. Watering this way also trains the roots to grow deeper.

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Don’t forget to label your seedlings as you plant them! We re-used popsicle sticks and markers. Some trays are all one crop, like these tomatoes below.

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We figured some people wouldn’t want six tomato plants though. So we planted some summer variety trays filled with a mixture of plants, like tomatoes, squash, and beans together.

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These seedlings will stay nice and warm in the greenhouse during the next month until it’s time to sell them to gardeners in the community. Want to support your local school gardens in Bethel? Visit the compost and plant sale on May 9th!