Not sure what to plant this spring? 
Try Salad Days!

We suggest that you plant these soon (mid-April), and harvest them in June. Some winners are:
  • Leafy Greens (spinach, lettuce, and arugula)
  • Radishes
  • Spring bunching onions
  • Snap peas
It can be daunting to use the school garden, but you can follow a simple plan. Start with teachers independently planting lettuce seeds with classes in mid-April. Then, h arvest in June, with all the students who planted participating. Make sure that the f all crop is planted simultaneously.  The following day, greens are served in the cafeteria! Let us know how your Salad Days turn out!

Not sure what to plant this June?  Try Spartan Apocalypse Crops!

Don't get scared off by the name - Spartan Apocalypse crops only require water and very little fuss. They're survivors! As long as they get a little love, and a regular splash from the watering can, they should last through the season. Some favorites are sunflowers, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, carrots, beets, and kale!
School Garden of the Month -  Up Leonard
Interview with Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald is an eighth grade ELA teacher at Up Leonard who proclaims her previous gardening experience was limited to an herb garden. However, McDonald proves that all a garden needs is an enthusiastic advocate. Recently, UPL received a gardening grant from the Whole Kids Foundation. We interviewed McDonald as the Gardener of the Month!

Whole Kids Foundation recently awarded funding through a Schoolyard Gardens Grant. What was the grant process, and what do you plan to do?

MM: I had heard about the Whole Kids Foundation and their support of schoolyard gardens. Groundwork Lawrence gave me tips for how to write a grant to support the Up Leonard garden. It was a lot of work! When I got the news we got the grant, I was so happy! We were awarded the full $2,000, and we will put it towards providing infrastructure and paths to the garden, maintenance, and supplies like buying seedlings.

What are your plans for the garden for this summer?

MM: This summer we're going to plant watermelon, asparagus, sweet pepper, heirloom tomato, and a variety of herbs, which are all fairly self-sustaining. Both our office manager and I will be here over the summer, so we can be here to check in on the garden and water them. We'll also have a few students who have said they'll stop by to water also.

Who do you think should be the next Garden Gossip Gardener of the Month?
Or tell Garden Gossip what gets you excited about schools, students and gardens!
Send your nominations to
Jazz up the School Garden with Snappy Tips!


Here are some quick tips to get you in the gardening mood!


How much sun is your garden getting?

Vegetables need lots of sun - 6 to 8 hours a day. If your garden isn't getting that much sun, vegetables are not the best option! 


Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea?

Coffee grinds and tea leaves are an easy way to add nutrients to the soil, and because they're typically brown, they blend  right in with the soil! Teachers can buy soil test kits or send a sample to UMass Extension to see what should be added to the soil.


Give seeds a boost before planting!

Soak seeds before planting, some may need overnight, others a few hours.


How far should you plant seeds down?

Plant seeds 2 times the depth of their size.

Check out our Calendar for upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities.