Clemson Extension School and Community Garden Program

Trying something new in the garden and the kitchen this summer


I usually grow the same staple vegetables in my garden year after year.  Tomatoes.  Cucumbers.  Zucchini.  Peppers.  Don’t get me wrong – I love growing them, and they are delicious!  But this year, I decided to mix things up a bit and grow some less traditional vegetables – fennel and pineapple tomatillo. I started my […]

Grow An Herb Garden- Plant Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)is an herb garden staple in our household.  A popular ingredient in cooking and so easy to grow, many varieties are also so beautiful they can be used as ornamental plants in the landscape! Basil is a warm-season, annual herb that is easy to start from seed indoors.  In the coastal region, we […]

It’s Thyme to Grow An Herb Garden

Thyme is a low-growing, perennial herb from the Mediterranean with small, oval leaves that produce a strong aroma when crushed.  Thyme features clusters of lilac flowers that attract bees and butterflies. While used for cooking primarily, it also works well as an edging or groundcover because of its low height, mounding nature, and attractive flowers. […]

Don’t “Dill-Ay” – Plant an Herb Garden

Dill (Anethum graveolens)  is a feathery herb great for cooking and attracting pollinating insects. It tops out at around 3 feet tall with yellow umbel shaped flowers. Swallowtail butterflies use dill and other members of the carrot family (Apiaceae) to feed their young.  So if you are trying to attract more butterflies to your landscape, […]

Build A Garden Trellis- An Engineering Challenge In the Garden

Many warm-season vegetable crops will need support as they grow. Sprawling plants such as vining cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes will quickly overrun our 4’x8′ raised bed if they are not corralled. To save space, I decided to build a trellis for my garden, which will allow the cucumbers and zucchini to grow vertically. Here’s how […]

Family-Friendly Seed Starting

vegetable garden

Planting flowers, vegetables, and herbs from seeds is an excellent family-friendly activity. There are so many lessons to be found in the simple act of starting seeds. If you plan on growing a large garden or you prefer a wider variety than found at the garden center, starting a garden from seed can be more […]

Composting Resources for Educators

teachers science

An informal survey on our Facebook page this week revealed that many educators are interested in teaching composting to their students. Composting is a fun “real world” activity with many cross-curricular connections.  We have compiled a few favorite curriculum links and some general composting information here. Curriculum K-5 National Agriculture in The Classroom: “The Rotten […]

STEM-Based Learning Through Hydroponics

Before learning we would be spending the next few weeks at home, our office was experimenting with growing vegetables and herbs using hydroponics. Hydroponics is a growing method that uses mineral nutrients in the water to grow plants either horizontally or vertically.  We chose to learn about vertical hydroponics since it is compact and with […]

Vegetable Stir Fry From The Garden

vegetable stir fry cooking on stove

Today  I made a vegetarian Asian stir fry for lunch using four of the vegetables commonly grown in school gardens.  Even though school is out, many of the vegetables including carrots, broccoli, peas, and onions are still available in grocery stores or from local farmers.  This easy recipe can also be whipped up with any […]

Making Luffa Soap

child holding luffa soap

In an HGIC blog post earlier this year, I shared how easy it is to grow luffas (  Turning your harvested luffas into soaps is a fun and easy craft project for all ages. Use the finished scrubbers in the tub, shower or to remove garden grime from hands.  The finished project may also be […]