Ready to build your own garden? We’re so excited to help you get started!
Growing in the Ground
Clear the grass and weeds away from the area you’ve chosen. Add compost and mix it in to the top few inches to improve the existing soil and supercharge your growing power!
Planting in a Raised Bed
You can build a raised bed from things like cedar, untreated pallets or logs. A typical size is eight feet by three feet with a depth of six inches, but you can create a size that makes the most sense for your space. Just make sure you are able to reach your plants! To find out how much soil you will need, calculate the bed’s volume (length times width times height) and convert that cubic feet number to litres.
Planting in Containers
Although they provide a modest growing space and harvest compared to other options, containers are great for growing in smaller spaces! You can purchase containers, but it’s also possible to upcycle old containers or buckets. Just add some drainage holes! You can even use an old tire if you’re growing things like non-edible plants and flowers.
Growing in a Community Garden
Community garden plots are available in many neighbourhoods! Plots are often already filled with soil. It’s a good idea to find out if compost is also provided, or whether you want to add some!
- Find out the “growing zone” of your local area to find out which plants will grow best, when they should be planted and when you should expect a harvest!
- Involve the whole family in choosing what you’ll grow. It’s a good idea to grow what your family already enjoys. It’s fun to try a few new things too!
- Find some organic seeds at a nursery, local shop, or even online.
- Make a garden map. Where will your plants have the best access to sunlight, water, and well-draining soil? Will you plant in rows or square foot sections? Some plants grow well together. These are called “companion plants”. Involve the whole family in sketching it out!
- Look at your seed packets for information about how deep and far apart to plant them, and other seed details.
- Kids can be more eager to eat a vegetable if they have grown it themselves! Now is a great time to collect some vegetable inspired meal ideas for the whole family.
- Add the garden three W’s into your family’s weekly routine – water, weed and watch for pests and other changes. Do them together while you look forward to your first harvest!
You will grow more than just plants!
Growing edible plants can foster healthy eating practices, enhance food literacy and encourage children and youth to explore their relationship to food.
Families find that gardening is a fun way to make a positive environmental impact, and build community and social connection with neighbours and other gardeners.
Gardening can help children and youth develop valuable life skills and important feelings of food security. It can also support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing!
Growing Up Organic
The Growing Up Organic team has collected this information for you. Growing Up Organic is a garden-based education program for children and youth. Our goal is to foster a generation with:
- Increased food literacy
- Lifelong healthy eating habits
- Skills to grow their own food
- The experience of tasting fresh, homegrown foods
- Strong connection to the living planet and awareness of environmental issues
Growing Up Organic is a program of Canadian Organic Growers. Canadian Organic Growers is Canada’s oldest organic and regenerative association dedicated to supporting growers/gardeners adopting more ecologically-based agriculture practices.
You can find more from Canadian Organic Growers on: