8 Community Gardening Tips

by Chris Black on April 5, 2012 · 0 comments

in Gardening Tips

If you live in an urban environment, you have access to a lot of conveniences that rural dwellers don’t, such as museums, major  sporting events, and concerts. People who live in the country have to drive great distances to enjoy what you have practically in your own backyard. What rural dwellers do have is access to a garden full of fresh vegetables and blooming flowers – if they so desire. If you live in the city and would like to have more of a garden than you can get by planting tomatoes or petunias in a window sill planter, you may be interested in the concept of community gardening. Following are a few tips.

Find Other Gardeners

Due to the fact that space is often extremely limited in an urban environment, it may be difficult for most people to conceive of being able to grow their own vegetables or flowers. If you want to start a community garden, the first thing you’re going to have to do is find other gardeners – other people who share your interest. You can do this by placing flyers on community bulletin boards or by asking your friends, neighbors, and colleagues if they or someone they know may be interested in starting a community project. Garden Sharing schemes are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, so that may be worth considering.

Set Up a Meeting

Once you have a good response to your inquires about starting a community garden, you will have to set up meeting so you can go over what everyone wants to accomplish. Talk to everyone who has shown an interest agree upon a time, date, and location for a meeting. When the meeting takes place, you can discuss what each person is interested in – whether it be fresh vegetables, flowers, or some combination of the two – then you can decide what types of plants will be grown.

Expert Advice

It would be helpful to have access to gardening expertise, especially if it’s someone with experience in community gardening. A Master Gardener would be perfect for that; most are passionate about gardening and more than happy to share their expertise.

Get Organised

At your initial meeting, you can begin the process of getting organised. You can form a committee to take charge of all facets of the project, such as finding a location for the garden, and collecting the money to buy seeds and fertiliser. Make sure everyone that wants to be part of the project knows that they’ll be expected to participate in all facets of the project, from planting, to maintaining, to harvest – unless special arrangements can be made for someone to work for them. Everyone involved must understand that you reap what you sow (in this case, literally!), and if you don’t stay actively involved in the project, you won’t be allowed to enjoy the bounty.

Research

At this point, the committee members can begin researching what will be needed to meet the expectations of everyone involved. The committees will be responsible for finding the best source of seeds, the right type of fertiliser or compost to use, and determine what tools will be necessary to make the garden viable. Will you need fencing? Will you need a shed?  Will the garden be organic, or will you be using chemical fertiliser? These questions will have to be addressed, and then the committee members will have to locate the right material.

Find a Location

You will also have to appoint committee members to find a good location for the garden. There may be small tracts of unused land between apartment buildings, or in back of them. Some apartments may have a common area or courtyard. The committee members will have to search out the landowners and seek their permission to use the land. They could offer the property owner some fresh vegetables in exchange for using the land. An allotment may also be a possibility, or if you’re going with a garden sharing scheme, some of your team members will have gardens.

Gather Material

Another committee member should be placed in charge of gathering the necessary material to create and grow the community garden. Using information gleaned from the research committee, they will have to go out and buy the seed, tools, fertiliser, and any other material that is needed to actually get started on the garden.

Tending the Garden

Once everything else is organised, it is time to actually start planting. You will have to set up a schedule for maintaining the garden, and then as the plants mature you will need to agree on how the vegetables and flowers will be harvested – i.e. who will get what, and when.

Good luck!

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