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A New School Garden Install

Super Garden XV!

Our recipe for a new garden at Godwin Middle School


A big dump truck full of wood mulch (10 yards)

A truck load of composted mulch (7 yards)

At least 20 yard-waste bags of fall leaves

Many sheets of cardboard from collapsed boxes

20 – 7th and 8th grade students

7 H.O.P.E. Gardens staff (coaches, conversationalists, and rakers)


First the garden’s perimeter was measured off with orange twine stretched between stakes. Students blanketed the ground and grass with a layer of cardboard from big collapsed boxes; the layers overlapping so grass cannot grow through. Huge handfuls of leaves were deposited as a second layer. Students gleefully tossed leaves over the cardboard as a few students did cartwheels on the first layer.

Next, students and H.O.P.E. staff filled wheelbarrows with composted mulch from a giant pile. Hardworking students made a game of wheeling the loads back and forth to dump on the cardboard, while others carried red buckets with the partly broken down wood chips. Last, the students and staff loaded and spread the final layer of wood chips over the top.

Later, volunteers and staff finished the second half, bringing the garden’s total size to a whopping 50 by 15 feet!

Over the winter, microorganisms, worms and water will speed the decomposition of the mulch, creating a soil ready for its first planting by students in spring.

This newly fertile garden will also provide a bright spot along 36th Ave. with its busy stream of traffic.

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