Plants thrive when you consider conditions before getting started. It’s your job to create a garden according to your environment’s conditions - there really is no fooling Mother Nature!
Investigate your property, seeking a location with the following optimal conditions:
- At least least 6-8 hours of daily direct sunlight - this is determined by standing outside in the area at different times of day
- Easy access to a dependable outdoor water hook-up
- Level ground that will not present drainage issues
- Clearance that there are not any utility lines below the proposed site (consult with custodial or maintenance staff)
- If you would like to plant in ground (as opposed to raised beds), you need to determine soil quality. The first test is simply done by digging into the soil. To plant in ground with good results, you will need a soil that is easy to dig in (i.e. you can insert the shovel without strain), is not filled with rocks and debris, and is not overly sandy or high in clay content.
Garden Hint. If you rather skip this step, that's ok - just plan a raised bed garden, which you can plan regardless of your soil quality!
Resources. Refer to the Outdoor/Indoor Requirement Checklist for an illustrated print-out of suggestions for choosing the right location for your garden, outdoors or in your classroom!
Troubleshooting. Is a shady classroom or school your only option? No worries – while most plants prefer sunshine, you can still start a garden of shade-friendly plants.