Breaking Ground


Garden Building Day

Engage your school garden team, community volunteers, parents and students in a Garden Building Day!


Some steps to get started before your garden building day:

  • Call DigSafe and arrange for all utilities to come out and mark for utility lines to be avoided when digging.
  • Take a “before” picture.
  • Have the area tilled. Ask around to parents, landscapers, farmers, or friends to see if anyone is willing to till your site for free.
  • Map out areas for pathways, beds, seating, compost, etc
  • Organize volunteer day and get the word out to your school and community.
  • Get tools, cardboard, mulch, and compost in place and ready to go.
  • Ask your volunteers to bring shovels, wheelbarrows, metal rakes and garden gloves. A lack of tools (wheelbarrows especially) can slow down your progress  
  • Plan for beverages and snacks for your volunteers. If the workday is early in the morning you may want to rent a large coffee maker. If volunteers will be working in the heat of the day plan for a large cooler with plenty of water.


Steps for garden building day:

  • String-off areas for beds and paths. Mark the paths with a flag so that volunteers (or yourself) don’t get confused.
  • Dig soil from paths into beds. A good range is about 3 to 6 inches down, and will depend on how deeply the soil was tilled.
  • Lay cardboard in pathways.
  • Lay mulch on top of cardboard.
  • Spread compost onto beds, integrate into soil, and even out beds.
  • Take an “after” picture!
  • Make good care of your volunteers with adequate beverages and snacks. Thank your volunteers