Growing food and flowers together in a community garden is a great way to get to know your neighbors while having a lot of fun too!
The first thing to consider when starting a community garden is where to put it. Is there a vacant lot in your neighborhood? Does someone have a large yard that they are tired of mowing? For example in our neighborhood there is a woman who has a large garden plot that she allows people to grow in since she can’t use it all herself.
If there is a vacant lot, be sure to contact the owner before starting your garden. Even though you might be improving blight, it’s still private property, and believe it or not, some people won’t allow you to use it even though it’s just sitting there.
Once you have a perfect location, determine your growing zone. Better Homes and Gardens has a handy zone finder tool based off of zip code. Knowing your zone will help you choose the right plants for your climate. Sadly not everything does well in every location, so it’s important to take note of how much sunshine and shade your future garden area receives.
Next, consider how the garden will be divided and how the produce will be shared. Will each household have their own plot? Will everything be planted together and tended to as a whole? Will the produce be first come, first served? Or will it be divided up evenly?
Also important to plan is who is expected to do what, and when. Determining who will do things such as watering, weeding, and the like beforehand will help save arguments from happening later on.
Next comes the fun part: buying plants and planting them! Plan a day when you can all plant together, make it a party, and help the hard work go quickly. You’ll be growing in no time!
No room for a community garden? Why not start a “Share the Bounty” instead! Designate a specific spot where people can drop off their garden extras that are free for the taking.
Start planning for a great growing season!