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GardenThe gardening project introduces vegetable and herb gardening. The Gardening project is divided into four different levels:

Level A: See Them Sprout (3rd and 4th grades)

Level B: Let's Get Growing (5th and 6th grades)

Level C: Take Your Pick (7th-9th grades)

Level D: Growing Profits (10th-12th grades)


What can I learn?

You will learn about planning a vegetable garden, planting, fertilizing, different vegetable pests, harvesting, storage techniques and careers.

Exhibit Introduction

 Garden manuals:

See 4-H garden manuals and 4-H 970-W for exhibit preparation suggestions.

Garden Manuals:

Members should complete 3 activities in their garden manual each year. 

4-H-1037 — Garden Level A: See Them Sprout

4-H-1038 — Garden Level B: Let’s Get Growing

4-H-1039 — Garden Level C: Take Your Pick

4-H-1040 — Garden Level D: Growing Profits

4-H-1041-W — Garden Helper’s Guide


All posters, notebooks, and display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit. This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc. It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public. A judge is not to discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed or a lack thereof.

Poster Guidelines

  • Posters should be 22" x 28" displayed horizontally with stiff, light weight backing and must be covered with clear plastic
  • Identification should be on the front in the lower right corner (name, grade, county).
  • Poster should "tell a story" or be informative to the Will the viewer of your poster learn something from the exhibit?
  • When designing your poster you should consider: lines, shapes, textures, colors and placement of
  • Pictures, graphics and artwork are
  • Make sure the poster accurately meets the guidelines and objectives of the activities in the Information printed directly off the web will not be accepted.
  • Materials included in the poster need to be educational, both for the youth and the audience, and should demonstrate that the youth was able to take what he or she learned from their research (experiment, or on web, in library, ) and/or activities to create the poster.


Level: All levels                                                                                                                 


Project Completion Recommendations

  1. Read and study 4-H Garden manual(s).
  2. Plan your
  3. Select plants and
  4. Plant your
  5. Care for your
  6. Harvest your
  7. Exhibit your
  8. Try something new, as listed in the
  9. Keep a complete record of your garden
  10. Complete activities as required in manual



4-H 970-W has been updated as of October 2015 with more specimens and new required numbers of specimens. Please carefully read these changes if you plan to exhibit at the State Fair. Follow this rule book for county exhibit guidelines.

I.   Single Vegetable

May be selected from 4-H Garden Publication 4-H 970-W (updated yearly) or list in the State Fair Premium book. Maximum of 5 different single plate exhibits per exhibitor. Single vegetable entries should be labeled with common name, Latin name, and variety of vegetable. The Latin names can be found in 4-H Garden Publication 4-H 970-W.


Green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)

‘Blue Lake 47 Bush’


II. Garden Collection

  • three (3) plates
  • four (4) plates
  • five (5) plates

In all three classes, vegetables are to be exhibited on paper plates and may include a display of not less than three garden flowers, grown in your own garden. Exhibitors may each exhibit one collection (3 or 4 or 5 plate garden collection) at State Fair. Garden collection entries should be labeled with common name, Latin name, and variety. Latin names can be found in 4-H Garden Publication 4-H 970-W.


III.    Single Herb Exhibit

  • Can enter three single herbs (all edible types) that must be labeled with common and Latin names and in pots 8" diameter (maximum of three different pots)
  • Resource HO-28; 4-H 970-W
  • For list of herbs acceptable for State Fair, see State Fair handbook or 4-H


IV.    Garden Education

One garden education exhibit per county.

Anyone can complete Section IV (Garden Education), but members enrolled in Levels C and D of the garden project SHOULD exhibit one of the following activities in addition to the Produce Exhibit (Section I, II and III)


Produce Options

  1. Exhibit four (4) plates containing two cultivars of two different kinds of vegetables in your For example: display tomato Rutgers and tomato Roma on two plates and spinach Melody and America on two plates. Label the cultivars you exhibit.
  2. Label and exhibit three unusual vegetables (may or may not be discussed in your 4-H Garden Manual) you grew in your garden this If not listed in the vegetable display chart, check with your Extension office. For example: spaghetti squash, head lettuce, etc.

Poster Options

  1. Make a poster of five commonly found diseases in vegetable gardens, the damage caused by each, and the control options for each.
  2. Make a poster of five commonly found vegetable garden insects: beneficial (good guys) and/or injurious (bad guys), benefits or damage caused by each, and the related management practices (how to keep the beneficial, and how to control the injurious insects).
  3. Make a poster of a maximum of 10 pests (diseases, insects, weeds, and/or rodents) you found in your garden this year, damage caused, control measures used, and results.
  4. Make a poster explaining a computer garden program or mobile application.
  5. Make a poster showing a picture story of what you did in your garden this year. Example: how you planned, planted, and maintained your garden.
  6. Make a poster showing your financial record.
  7. Make a poster of pictures showing your experiences in hydroponics.
  8. Make a poster explaining various career options working with vegetables/herbs.
  9. Make a poster explaining types of pollinators and their importance in vegetable and fruit production.
  10. Make a poster that shows the different types of plant parts that are consumed by humans. Be sure to identify the fruit or vegetable and categorize it by root, stem, leaf, or flower.
  11. Make a poster that shows different storage methods for vegetables.
  12. Make a poster showing how to create a raised bed OR container vegetable garden.
  13. Make a poster discussing how herbs listed on the last page of 4-H Garden Publication 4-H 970-W are used and have been used throughout history. Be sure to include both culinary and medicinal uses as well as other unique uses, if any.


4-H Garden Publication 4-H 970-W


For more information, visit the Garden Project Page of the Indiana State 4-H Website.

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