Your seasonal picks are here! Please enjoy our quarterly resources picked just for you and your school garden by our Washington Youth Garden team, the youth education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum.

We are excited to provide Grow@Home kits again this year. This kit offers hands-on gardening experiences while classes remain virtual for many students in the city. Using these kits and the included activity guide, students learn how to care for plants, track their growth, and design their own experiments.

New this year, we’re also offering Grow@Home kit walkthrough lessons to help your students get started growing their own food! This 30 minute session teaches them how to make their own soil mixture and plant the included seeds.

Grow@Home kits are free for all Title 1 schools in the District. Non-Title 1 schools can pay the full cost or just the cost of materials, whichever they can afford.

We are offering several virtual lessons in place of our regular SPROUT field trips.

In our Parts of a Plant lesson, students are introduced to the plant life cycle using a Plant Yoga activity, learn the 6 basic parts of plants and their functions, and identify what parts of plants are harvested for their favorite foods. 

Our Pollination lesson covers the symbiotic relationship between plants and animals — specifically, the food supplies that depend on pollination and the animals that help plants carry out that process.

The Rainbow Foods virtual session teaches students that different colored fruits and vegetables provide different health benefits and how it is important to “eat the rainbow” and create colorful meals that provide a wide variety of nutrients.

Our Ask a Farmer virtual field trip provides classes the opportunity to direct the discussion and explore the aspects of gardening and agriculture that interest them the most.

Are you interested in receiving some seedlings from WYG to plant in your school garden? Our garden team has grown so many spring crop seedlings in the greenhouse and we have extra to distribute!

We currently have kale, collard, beet, and chard seedlings available for pick-up this week.

Not ready for Spring? Don’t worry! We will have Summer crop seedlings like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants that will be available later in May.
We also often send out information and opportunities like free seedling availability on the Growing Garden Teachers listserv, so check it out! Click on the link to request to join the group or send an email to

It's time to plant outside! Cool-weather crops that can be seeded directly into the ground can be planted right now. These include lettuce, spinach, peas, radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and potatoes.

Refer to WYG’s 6 Seasons of the School Garden maintenance calendar for more garden tasks during early Spring (late March-April).

Want a simple spreadsheet to plan and track your school garden’s annual fruits and vegetables?

Want to plant seeds with your students? Involve your students in prepping for your spring or summer garden this April and May!

Find reusable materials around your home to show students how to start seeds. Students can choose if they want to plant their seedlings in the school garden or in a home garden when they are ready. You can use WYG’s grow at home kits (link above), or your own seeds and soil, to start warm-weather crops to replant outside in mid-May.

We chose cucumber, squash, and okra seeds for WYG's Garden Club because they are ready to transplant outside 4-6 weeks after planting and are easy to harden off, or slowly acclimate to the outside weather.

Can’t get seeds to students? You can always have students find seeds they might already have in their house.

Fellow DC-based nonprofit Fresh Farm recently released Foodprints, their interdisciplinary elementary food and garden education curriculum. It is aligned with national and DC standards, and integrates their “Grow, Cook, Eat, Learn” model in 63 hands-on lessons vertically aligned to seasons and 9 key themes. See how you might use them in your own lessons! 
Come see us next time you're at the National Arboretum!
The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.
Washington Youth Garden is the youth outreach and education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum. By supporting FONA, you support WYG connecting thousands of students each year to food, the land, and each other.
Did you receive this newsletter from a friend?