Humans have been growing plants for thousands of years. Farmers and horticulturists make their living growing food and other plants, while other people grow gardens for pleasure. Becoming a good gardener requires a Scout to understand the science of growing plants—how to prepare the soil, how to select and plant seeds, and how to care for the growing plants.


  1. Do the following:
    1. Grow six vegetables, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through harvest.
    2. Grow six flowers, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through flowering.
  2. Give the food value of the following:
    1. Three root or tuber crops
    2. Three vegetables that bear above the ground
    3. Three fruits
  3. Test 100 seeds for germination. Determine the percentage of seeds that germinate. Explain why you think some did not germinate.
  4. Visit your county extension agent's office, local university agricultural college, nursery, or a botanical garden or arboretum. Report on what you learned.
  5. Identify five garden pests (insects, diseased plants). Recommend two solutions for each pest. At least one of the two solutions must be an organic method.
  6. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Build a compost bin and maintain it for 90 days.
    2. Build a vermipost bin (worm compost bin) and maintain it for 90 days.
    3. Build a hydroponic garden containing three vegetables or herbs, or three ornamental plants. Maintain this garden through harvest or flowering, or for 90 days.
    4. Build one water garden, either in a container (at least 12 by 6 inches and 6 inches deep), or in the ground as a small, decorative pond no larger than 6 by 3 feet and 24 inches deep. Maintain the water garden for 90 days.


Scouting Literature

Insect Study, Landscape Architecture, Plant Science, and Soil and Water Conservation merit badge pamphlets.


  • Brown, Deni. Eyewitness Garden Handbooks: Bulbs. DK Publishing, 1997.
  • Bradley, Fern Marshall, and Barbara W. Ellis, eds. Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. Rodale Press, 1992.
  • Editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine. National Garden Book. Sunset Books, 1997.
  • Edwards, Ray, and the DK Publishing Staff. American Horticultural Society Practical Guides: Perennials. DK Publishing Merchandise, 1999.
  • Gilroy, Diane K., and Carol H. Munson, eds. All-Time Best Gardening Secrets. Rodale Press Inc., 2000.
  • Grey-Wilson, Christopher. American Horticultural Society Practical Guides: Annuals and Biennials. DK Publishing Merchandise, 2000.
  • McDowell, C. Forrest, and Tricia Clark-McDowell. Home Composting Made Easy. Cortesia Press, 1998.
  • Phillips, Ellen, and C. Colston Burrell. Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials. Rodale Press, 1999.
  • Robinson, Peter. American Horticultural Society Practical Guides, Ponds and Water Features. DK Pub Merchandise, 1999.
  • Rosenfeld, Richard. American Horticultural Society Practical Guides: Herb Gardens. DK Publishing Merchandise, 1999.
  • Sanchez, Janet, and the editors of Sunset Books. Perennials, second edition. Sunset Books, 2000.
  • Toogood, Alan, and Linden Hawthorne. Eyewitness Garden Handbooks: Annuals and Biennials. DK Publishing, 1997.