DIY / Grow

Plants, Seeds, & Local Nurseries

Turn to your community to find the resources to build a thriving school garden.

Plants, Seeds, & Local Nurseries

What should you plant and when? This resource guide will help you get started.

Ever wondered how to choose between buying seedlings and growing your own from seed?

You can start your own seeds or purchase seedlings from a nursery. Some plants do well transplanted as seedlings and others do better if you start them from seed directly in the ground.



  • Veggies with large seeds
  • Root crops
  • Ex: beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, turnips, watermelon
  • Plants in the nightshade family
  • Veggies with a long growing season
  • Ex: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, eggplant, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, strawberries, tomatoes

We encourage you to grow a diversity of annuals, including vegetables and flowers. For all other types of plants, including fruit trees, natives, perennials, and even succulents, check out your neighborhood nursery- a few of our favorites are listed below.


When choosing seeds, there are a lot of options out there, and it can get confusing. We recommend using open-pollinated and heirloom varieties. See Choosing Seeds in this month’s Engage section. For our Grow Your Own! Schools, we often have seeds in our seed bank to donate to your school. Just ask us! In addition, some of our favorite organic seed companies include:


Your local nursery can be a source of discounts on soil, seeds, and other garden supplies, so it’s a great idea to make friends with yours. Here are a few of our local favorites:

Plant Depot
General plant nursery with good organic seeds and seedlings. Current Orange County GYO schools receive a discount with i.d. – contact us for details.
33413 San Juan Creek Rd.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 240−2107

Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery
Huge selection of organic and rare fruit varieties.
2508 E Vista Way # B
Vista, CA 92084
(760) 724-9093

Tree of Life
Nursery Large selection of So Cal native plants.
33201 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 728-0685