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Camp Internet's Global Gardening Studies are open to all Camp Expedition Teams. RAIN's Youth Technology Corps members are Expedition Team Leaders for Communities taking part.

Starting Your Garden

Start by looking around your schoolyard and taking note of which areas get a lot of sun, which are shaded all day, and which are sunlit for part of the day.

Also, notice which spots tend to be damp all the time and which dry out very fast.

Now you can use that information to choose the site of your new garden and the plants that will fare well there.

When you select plants that thrive in your conditions, you have to care for them less.

Before you buy the plants, you want to prepare the site.

Loosen the soil with a shovel, garden fork and/or tiller 6 to 8 inches deep, and add several inches of compost to it.

If the soil is sandy, mix in an extra helping of compost.

In most climates, vegetables, fruits and herbs grow best in raised beds, which are built up 4 to 6 inches above the surrounding ground.

Most flowers thrive in raised beds, too. The soil in raised beds drains quickly so plants never sit in water, and the soil warms up fast in spring.

You can build a raised bed by adding a lot of organic matter to the soil and fluffing up the soil with a garden fork, then raking soil from the areas that will be paths up onto the beds. Many gardeners like to enclose their raised beds in wooden or plastic frames; others just mound up the soil.