Success School Greenhouse Tips from Mike’s Green Garden

So I have talked a little bit about my garden horticulture club at school and today I was asking Mike what we could do to be more successful…. We  have been working with a young food corps helper who has started some kale, mustard greens, and other things just to see what happens. I think well there are a few tweaks that could increase our chances of success.

The students have had lots of fun just learning how to cook. So far we made carrot juice and a homemade pumpkin pie. Then we took a tour of the school garden which is about a 5-10 minute hike away but I was excited to see there are lots of raised beds built probably six-eight 8×10 beds.


The food corps employee is keeping a nice compost bin, so my goal is to start saving all the healthy nutritious scraps from lunch and breakfast as possible to create a large stockpile of  compost for next spring. The beds are built but they are empty and void of any dirt. In order to fill them we could use all the compost we can save.

Of course it is a large ranching community there is a possibility we will be able to get manure but I don’t know if it will be organic. Possibly as buying chemicals is probably not Last week we transplanted the plants at our last meeting.

Day Length Greenhouse Lights

BES greenhouse South Side view

BES Greenhouse SOUTH wall view

For starters, we only have the plants under lights during the school day. I think this is the first thing that has to chance. When I told Mike should we leave them on all night then? He said no can’t you set a timer. I said oh yeah duh?! Haha! He suggested they should have a minimum of 12 hours up to 16 hours a day of light.

Passive Solar Water Barrel Heaters

BES Greenhouse West Wall doorway

BES Greenhouse West Wall doorway

I said, I think we should put some straw bales around the outside as the plants are up on tables etc close to the lights so I think the straw bales would help insulate the building and keep it warmer. Then he suggested we use black barrels of water that could use passive solar energy to heat and also would make good compost tea water.

I think these are two great suggestions to get us going stronger.

Cold Frame Dreams

SE doorway

SE Doorway and picnic area.

My goal for next year would be to put a cold frame up against this wall outside my classroom door. We walk by here 3-4 times a day and it is on a south facing wall that will block the wind and get morning directly until about 11 o’clock each morning I think. Eventually I would plant sunflowers or echinacea or something all around this fenced area where there are picnic tables although I never see them.



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