Ready, Steady, Grow! with Marco
Ready, Steady, Grow is a gardening program at the Community Center that is instructed by master gardener, Marco Donadel. The program launch was on April 18th and students learned how to create a vertical pallet garden made from recycled commercial pallets and a variety of herbs and flowers.
As the students entered the classroom, they found their assigned table with all of the supplies that were needed to complete the project: a vertical pallet lined with landscaping fabric, scissors, gloves, brush, chalkboard paint, chalk, and soil. The students then got the opportunity to choose eight plants for their garden. They picked from a variety of herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, savory, chives, basil, spicy peppers and strawberries as well as from a large variety of flowers.
During the class, the students were given a variety of information to include how to plant and utilize herbs. For instance, some of the herbs can be used when cooking, some can be harvested, and some can be used fresh or dried in culinary dishes. A description of each of the plant was also discussed that included the best time of year for planting and how much sun and water the plants required.
Next, students gained valuable information on flowering plants and their interesting features such as their blossoming period, their height, if they are perennial or annual. The flowers that were offered in this class will bloom throughout the entire summer!
The class then discussed general information on how to take care of their plants the best location for their pallet, watering, fertilizing and trimming. After the gardening lesson, we switched to the practice portion of the class. Students had to first trim the landscaping fabric to fit their pallet. Next they started filling the fabric pockets with dirt and planting the herbs and flowers that they chose earlier in the class.
During this portion of the event, I was walking around the tables to provide suggestions and answering customer's questions. Once they were done planting, the last step was to paint the front of the pallet with chalkboard paint and then write the plant variety in chalk so each item could be easily identified.
The class received great feedback from the students stating that they really appreciated a class where they could learn a new skill and then practice on a project that they could take home.