Family Garden Activities
www.backpocketlearning.org searchable database of easy to do activities
www.kidsgardening.org large collection of resources and gardening how to’s
Looking for resources in Spanish? Check out this list of Spanish language garden-based learning resources.
Gardening How To
The UCSC Farm & Garden has a great collection of gardening skills and growing guides.
GrowOrganic.com has an extensive resource library of videos and gardening tips.
Soil and Compost
When purchasing bagged soil or compost mixes from garden centers read the ingredients label and opt for organic products. Some products are made from municipal bio-waste or have warning labels that say handle with gloves and keep out of reach of children.
Larger quantities of soil mix can be purchased at landscape supply companies which often sell pre-mixed topsoil or compost products that can be loaded in a truck or delivered to your home. When ordering soil to be delivered Use a soil calculator to determine the amount of cubic yards to purchase:
- Gardener’s Supply Company;
- Soil Buildings Systems (adjusts for settling);
- Soil Direct (for different sized and shaped beds);
- Convert from cubic feet to cubic yards.
Locally in the Santa Cruz you can purchase bulk soil or arrange delivery from:
- Aptos Landscape Supply recommended products are One Earth and Pure Green composts, as well as a topsoil mix good for filling garden boxes
- Central Coast Home Supply
- Tri-County Landscape
Resources and Videos for Composting with Kids
Resource and Video on Worm Composting
Make a Soil Shakes or Licuado de Suelo
High quality, affordable soil tests you can visit:umass.edu/soiltest.
Information about Soil Fertility can be found under the “fertility” heading https://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/publications/for_the_gardener.html
Annie’s and Center for Ecoliteracy: 5 types of kids’ gardens
Building a Raised Bed from Sunset Magazine
Where to buy large containers or raised bed kits:
Seeds and Seeding
Seed Viability Chart see how long older seeds will continue to be viable. When planting older seeds you can just plant more 3 or 4 seeds per hole to better ensure germination.
Crop Planning and Choosing Plants
Amazing Reseeding Annuals – these are some of our favorite seeds to sow. Let them mature to make seeds and you will have new plants “volunteer” year after year in your garden.
Learn about Edible Crop Planning – resources, links, and simple planting guide. Refer to your local MasterGardeners or search “vegetable planting guide” for your region or city.
Find your average last frost date with this interactive map
Nature Journaling with Children
Garden Journaling with Children
Life Lab’s Blog Post of Nature Journaling Resources
Life Lab’s Family Garden Books & Activity Cards
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids
Winter Family Gardening Webinar (watch the recording below)
Interested in a particular topic? Find these segments at the times listed:
3:20 Garden planning & nature journaling
9:05 Where will I plant? Bed & container options
15:15 Bringing whimsy into the garden (creative container options)
19:20 Soil shakes video
25:10 Enriching your soil
32:40 What can we plant now? (in late winter)
38:40 Seed starting indoors