Students work in the greenhouse at Wilson High SchoolWashington, D.C. – The United States Botanic Garden (USBG), the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and City Blossoms announce the release of the newly developed “Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators.”

Across the United States, a growing number of schools are planting gardens, engaging in Farm to School activities, and integrating plant science into the curriculum. Unfortunately, many school greenhouses are underutilized or have only a single knowledgeable and dedicated teacher is enabling their use. The USBG, NCAT, and City Blossoms recognized the need for user-friendly guidance on operating school greenhouses and maximizing their educational potential. To that end, we have developed this free manual for educators wanting to better use new or existing greenhouses for educational purposes. 

“We have developed this manual for educators wanting to use their school greenhouses to advance educational objectives for their students not only in STEM and career technical classes, but also in liberal arts subjects,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, executive director of the USBG. “We are thrilled to make it widely available free of charge. This useful resource will facilitate transformative learning experiences in schools nationwide while helping students gain an appreciation for the importance of plants.”

The manual clearly and concisely lays out a basic understanding of greenhouses, how to integrate them into lessons, and how to effectively use greenhouses in classroom curricula and out-of-school activities. The manual includes lesson plans as well as basic information on layout and operations of a greenhouse, growing plants (especially during the school year), growing from seed, seedling nutrition, identifying and treating disease and pest management in greenhouses, basic budgeting, and succession planting. 

“NCAT has been thrilled to bring our expertise to the efficient and curriculum-based use of educational greenhouses,” said Andy Pressman of NCAT.

“Growing in greenhouses can be so much fun. We’re so excited to share this free manual to help support school and educational greenhouse projects across the country,” said Rebecca Lemos, executive director of City Blossoms.

This resource is available at



Devin Dotson, U.S. Botanic Garden 202.226.4145

Andy Pressman, National Center for Appropriate Technology 479.587.3475

Willa Pohlman, City Blossoms 202.882.2628



About the U.S. Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is the oldest continuously operating botanic garden in North America. The Garden informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


About National Center for Appropriate Technology

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) mission is to help people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. NCAT’s ATTRA Program is committed to providing high-value information and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States.


About City Blossoms

City Blossoms is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering healthy communities by developing creative, kid-driven green spaces. Applying their unique brand of gardens, science, art, healthy living, and community building, they “blossom” in neighborhoods where kids, their families, and neighbors may not otherwise have access to green spaces. For more information on City Blossoms, their programming, resources and trainings, visit or call 202.431.8991.