Soil-less Experiments at Yu Ying

By: Amy Quinn, Washington Yu Ying Public Charter…..

yuyingDC has a thriving garden community, with school gardens both big and small found throughout the city. As the new school year has begun to develop, the school and community gardens around DC are planning for winter, thinking about the last planting of lettuces and radishes before the first freeze.

At Yu Ying, students are involved in gardening Grown in Gravel. One of our container beds is soil-less, a study in geological agriculture. Richard Campbell, a parent at Yu Ying, has been working with Soil Less gardens since 1994.   In 2009, he established To Soil Less, “to research the attributes of geological agriculture and share this approach to crop cultivation with the greater society.” Richard worked with students at Washington Yu Ying during the fall and spring of 2013-2014 to develop a gravel bed. The bed has been very productive, with cucumbers, squash and flowers, and a wonderful exploration for the students in the many ‘ways to grow’!

To learn more about Growing in Gravel, visit for Richard Campbell’s book and tips!