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raised beds

These above-ground planting boxes may be used to grow vegetables, herbs and perennial and annual flowers. Plant in early spring to harvest a salad before school's out, or plant spring crops to use in the fall (e.g. sunflowers or pumpkins).  Grow traditional plants from different cultures.

Active Learning
Use this Learning Habitat to study plant life cycles, foods from plants, seed collecting, plant parts. 

Suggested curriculum links: GrowLab
A K-8 plant science curriculum of the National Gardening Association with extensive online resources including hands-on investigations of plant growth


  • Ideal for schoolyards with soil problems (paving, poor soil, contamination)
  • Separate beds are easy to assign to grades or classes
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Add string grids for easy plant spacing
  • Flexible use; change the design every year
  • Three season value (plant crops in spring for returning fall classes; use for summer school)

Download Raised Beds Garden Plan
Download Raised Beds Details
Download Raised Beds Getting Started
Download Raised Beds Building Instructions

PLAN Before You Plant
Successful, sustainable school projects start by involving the school community in planning.

Share the Dream
Form a team of staff and parents to gather ideas, discuss possibilities and prioritize needs and goals.  How will the area be used to support curriculum?  How will you involve students to get information and make choices?

Survey the Site
Check with maintenance staff and others about its existing uses. Measure it.  Note growing conditions (light, soil, access to water).

Create a Design &Action Plan
Select features and create a design.  Develop a timetable to implement it.  It's great to start small and build on success over time.  Plan for ways students can use and add to the area in subsequent years.

Involve the Community
A plan with broad support, that many people have helped shape, is critical for long-term success.  Vandalism is less likely.  Enthusiasm for using it will grow, as well as support for its upkeep.