After researching the characteristics of the plants that have been chosen, make up a calendar for the year. This calendar should show when seeds for each variety should be planted, whether they are to be planted in pots or directly into the garden, the number of days for germination, the length of time until harvest and even a fertilizing schedule for the plants.
Remember that many vegetables require a minimum and maximum temperature during their growing season in order for flowers to set fruit and to mature (tomatoes). Vegetables which should be planted in the fall (Aug, Sept, Oct) are referred to as cool season vegetables. Those referred to as warm season vegetables, should be planted in spring and will mature through summer. Click this link http://www.mastergardenerssandiego.org/Vegetable Planting Guide1.pdf to go to the Vegetable Planting Guide for San Diego for assistance in preparing a Planting Calendar.
Sample Planting Calendar
- Start winter vegetable garden.
- Plant seeds directly into garden: carrots, radishes, beets, peas, spinach.
- Start seeds in flats for: cabbage, chard, onions, and scallions.
- Keep beds moist.
- Continue to plant winter vegetables to extend harvest time.
- Fertilize the plants set out in September.
- Keep beds moist to ensure good germination.
- Pull weeds as they appear.
- Pick off insects and snails.
- Continue to plant winter vegetables.
- Thin earlier plantings such as spinach and lettuce.
- Pull weeds and control pests.
- Keep plants moist.
- Feed plants that are actively growing now such as the vegetables. A balanced fertilizer should be used. Those that have just been planted should not be fed again.
- Water - unless there are substantial rains.
Expand this Planting Calendar to cover the entire growing season. These comments could be put on blank calendar pages with the various duties marked on dates that the children will be working in the garden. Or they can be listed as above, with the duties assigned to the students.