May 2015 Newsletter

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School Orchards

Many educators who attended the 2015 Maine School Garden Day expressed interest in school orchards. Cooperative Extension provides thorough resources on planting and caring for orchards here

Find Us On Facebook

Like us on Facebook and share your photos, ideas and questions with other school gardens!

School Garden Regional Gatherings

Network with school garden educators, local farmers and resource professionals! There will be garden tours, workshop presentations, round table discussions and more!

In May we are featuring Gatherings at the following locations:

Penobscot County Regional Gathering: May 14

Somerset County Regional Gathering: May 16

Waldo County Regional Gathering: May 28

Washington County Regional Gathering: May 30

Find your county here! More dates and locations still to come!

May in the Garden


Soil preparation and planting are two of the most important garden tasks in May. Soil test results will provide recommendations for applying soil amendments. If you have yet to establish a crop rotation, refer to a map of last year’s vegetable garden as a guide for planting crops this spring to avoid planting crop families in the same place. Make a new map of this year's planting scheme. 

Make sure to harden off your seedlings before planting them. For a week or two prior to planting, place well watered seedlings outdoors in a sunny, protected area such as the side of a building. Monitor their moisture during the day and bring the seedlings back inside at night. This will help your plants become accustomed to outdoor growing conditions. 

Check out this article if you plan to hold a work day to recruit help in planting the school garden. It has helpful tips and sample announcements. In addition to promoting the work day, share a wish list of needed materials with your volunteers and a sign up sheet for summer garden maintenence.

Lesson, Grades 3-5: The Soil is Alive! 

Refer to the May 2014 newsletter for additional recommendations. Happy gardening!

Congratulations Medomak Valley Heirloom Seed Project!


The Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Project was created with the goal to to teach students how to grow, collect and save heirloom seeds, pass down history to the next generation, and learn how to be self sufficient by producing their own food for themselves and their community. Medomak Valley High School has the oldest school based seed saving program in the United States. The Maine School Garden Network is lucky to have shared the work and wisdom of educator Neil Lash with attendees at several workshops. The Heirloom Seed Project has earned a $20,000 grant from Seeds of Change. You can learn more about the Project and their seed CSA on their blog, Unique Maine Farms profile, through their online seed catalog, or Facebook page.