USBG Greenhouse Manual


This greenhouse manual is an easy-to-use guide designed to help educators with access to educational greenhouses. Whether planting gardens, growing for Farm to School programs, or integrating plant science into an existing curriculum, this manual has answers that educators need.


Developed in a partnership between NCAT, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and City Blossoms, the manual helps educators maximize the potential of new and existing school greenhouses. It opens with a basic explanation of greenhouses and continues with how to integrate their use into classroom and out-of-classroom learning. It contains lesson plans and information on greenhouse operation, growing plants, starting seeds, plant nutrition, disease and pest management, greenhouse budgeting, and succession planting.

Contents Outline:
How This Manual Works—An Introduction
Part 1: A Strong Foundation—Getting Started
Factors to Consider about a Greenhouse
Designing for Your Climate
Connections to Standards and Evidence of Benefits
Spotlight: Grown By Kids, For Kids in Livingston, Montana
Part 2: The Best Greenhouse For You—Design & Budget
Questions to Ask in Preparation: What, Why, Where, When & How
Greenhouse Types
Infrastructure Elements: Temperature, Orientation, Ventilation & Light
Creating an Interior Layout
Budgeting for a School Greenhouse
Part 3: Plants, Plants, Plants–Growing in Greenhouse
Planning with the School Year & Growing Season
Creating a Planting Schedule
Greenhouse Planting with Students
From Seed to Seedling: Soil, Water & Nutrients
Soil Mix Ingredients
Steps for Starting Seeds
Caring for Seedlings
Seedling Nutrition
Environmental & Space Factors
Problem Solving: Pest & Disease Management
Beneficial Insects
Tools for Managing Greenhouse Plant Diseases
Spotlight: Helping Hands in Washington, D.C.
Part 4: Let’s Learn Together—Education & Engagement
Not Just Science! Creating a Larger Vision
Project-Based Learning
Time to Harvest: Connecting a School Greenhouse with a Farm-to-School Program
Spotlight: Growing Greens in Washington, D.C.
Budget Template

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