6 Steps for January Beginnings: Gardens that Feed

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in The Seedling BLOG | 4 comments

6 Steps for January Beginnings:

Gardens that Feed

As I write this the temperature outdoors is 9 degrees. Not really the time to be going outdoors and choosing a site for your Garden that Feeds. Are you wondering what you can do now to connect your children with Nature during these bitter cold days? You are in luck. January is the perfect time to begin your gardening year. This is the perfect time to explore seed catalogs with your children and begin the planning process for your garden. I have to be honest, in the past, I have always planted my vegetables on a whim. It always worked out. So please do not fret if you think you are doing it wrong. It can be as simple as planting a seed in the ground. For me, I am digging deeper and seeking harmony; therefore, planning ahead and becoming a student again. I hope you can join me.

Step 1: Talk to children about what food they would like to grow in their garden?

  • Look at seed catalogs and make a list of all the vegetables you want to grow in the coming season.
  • A majority of these will be easy growing plants for children.
  • Order Seeds

Step 2: Use Pencil and Graph paper to draw a diagram of the garden, showing every bed.

  • Include raised beds in any form. (ie: Math Garden = raised shape beds)
  • I will use 1/2 inch to 1-foot scale on the graph paper ( this will help with knowing how many seeds to plant)

Step 3: Make considerations when assigning crops to beds.

  • Long-term crops (parsnips) go on the perimeter
  • Corn locate on the North or West side of the garden
  • Plant broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts in beds where they have not been planted before

Step 4: Scheduling & Guesstimates

  • For each crop write down the date that it will be started indoors, the date it will be moved to the cold frame for hardening off, the date of planting in the soil, and the projected date of harvest

Step 5: Begin Your Garden that Feeds Journal 

  • Take notes on each season
  • Take pictures
  • Include scheduling
  • Add ideas for curriculum connections

Step 6: Check tools

  • Do they need to be sharpened?
  • Do you have enough for your group of children?
  • Do I have a good supply of pots, cell packs, peat pots, and peat strips for seed starting and transplanting

Get ready for February! It all starts with Celery, Leeks, Onions, Tomatoes, and Winter Rye

Learning is a process and I can’t wait to dive into my January beginnings and preparations. Are you planning on planting a Garden that Feeds? If so, what type of seeds will you plant? Leave a comment below.

Stay warm,



  1. I love that this is broken down into steps and that we CAN actually start in January 🙂 I live in Canada so I was wondering how this would work for me but you give good ideas on how to get the discussion started (what they want to grow, seed catalogue, plan for the beds and how to do so using math outcomes, etc.)Do you have suggestions or money saving tips to help me find all the tools I’m going to need for a group of 25-30 students ?

    • Fabulous! Yes…lots can be done during the winter months. Donations are a great place to start with tools for a large group. Do you have any specific tools you are looking for?

      • Not sure exactly but I’ll know more once I get started 🙂

        • Taking that first leap is sometimes this biggest challenge. Clarity arrives once you have taken these leaps. Yea!

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