Choosing Fruits & Flowers

Connect Choosing Fruits & Flowers to Your Curriculum

  • Click Here for a Fruit Garden Activity and engage your students in choosing and growing fruit at school.

 

Fruit Trees and Small Fruits

Planting small fruits and fruit trees in the garden is adding another layer to the project. Small fruits like strawberries can yield delicious crops relatively soon and provide a very special treat for the cafeteria. Raspberries and blackberries take some time to establish themselves but can be yielding within a couple of years. Fruit trees are more of an investment in the future.

Strawberries can be incorporated within the garden layout or grown in designated beds. Berries require more room but can be accommodated on garden borders and along fences. Fruit trees need more room but can easily be accommodated as part of school landscaping. An attractive row of apple and pear trees can line a school driveway. Fruit trees should be staked, pruned, and mulched wide so they don’t create a maintenance issue for school personnel who are mowing.


Flowers

Flowers definitely have a place in the garden, even if the primary goal is to grow food. Flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden, and add an element of beauty, color, and vibrancy. If space is a limitation, consider leaving space at the end of each vegetable bed, or utilize nooks  and crannies of the garden where growing vegetables may not be feasible. Planting ornamental plants at the garden entrance can highlight the entrance and create a welcoming environment. Flowers planted along a fence row or along a border that receives foot or car traffic can really attract people’s attention to the garden.

Consider dedicating a portion of the garden to readily reseeding flowers, freeing yourself from the time and expense of starting annual flowers year after year. Sunflowers, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), Cleome, Celosia, Ornamental Amaranth, Rudbeckia, Marigolds, Sweet Annie and many other flowers come back year after year if allowed to reseed. But beware, these may become a weed problem if not properly managed.

Additional information about nutrition, origins, and fun facts for Kansas fruits and vegetables can be downloaded below. This material was developed and is provided, with permission, by Child Nutrition and Wellness, Kansas Department of Education.