Many people are now embracing community gardens because they are easy to set up and very rewarding. You can start community gardens for many reasons. These could be recreational or environmental. New York’s Central Park is an example of a community garden that has been a success. This park helped maintain and restore the park’s historic areas, as well as its landscape. Other communities have also started gardening projects to curb urban sprawl, improve public health and beautify the neighborhoods.
Here are some tips on how you can start your community garden.
Before you begin, plan how to start a garden community. First decide what kind of garden you want to create and how much soil you will use. It will depend on whether the garden is an organic one or uses compost as its sole material.
Organic gardens have the benefits of being more environmentally friendly and self-sufficient. However, compost-based gardens need more monitoring to ensure the correct amount of organic materials are used.
The majority of plots require approximately four square feet of annual space for planting vegetables. The type of soil will depend on the types of crops desired. Loose, light, and shade-tolerant plots are ideal for producing tomatoes, peppers, and squash. It is because these plants thrive in low moisture environments. Other types of plants need more space to thrive; these include cucumbers, herbs, and green peppers.
Many community gardens are located within the front or back yards, where the gardener can plant vegetables directly and benefit from the natural lighting provided by their home or backyard. Vegetable gardeners can also add ornamental flowers to improve the appearance of the plots.
Gardeners can build a fence around their plots if they choose to, protecting their plants from harmful insects and animals. Planting in the ground will reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals, which are linked to adverse health effects.
A site analysis is necessary to determine whether the garden’s location will permit the desired use. Your location must have water, good soil, proper sunlight, and security for members to access. Community gardens can be located anywhere on a property, including yards, in-ground like those found in golf courses, in-slots, and raised beds. They can be built upon vacant lots or existing residential and commercial property.
You can have large or small community gardens depending on your space and the purpose. You will often find smaller gardens on smaller lots than larger commercial and organic vegetable garden sites, which can sometimes sprawl across large land areas.
The plants can thrive in small spaces without the interference of vehicles and neighbors. It creates an environment conducive to natural growth. More extensive gardens are possible on larger plots, which offer more space for growth. It gives the garden a sense of openness and harmony. To maintain a healthy garden, it is crucial to properly care for the soil, use suitable fertilizers, and make sure the mulch is well-managed.
Identify potential partners & gardeners
Community gardens offer a way for gardeners from all walks of life to connect, socialize and work together on their gardens. Community gardening is successful when everyone participates. It is the spirit of gardening many people love – relaxing, working in the garden together, and creating something.
Identify the people you want to be part of the partnership. For example, the garden can be for a community situated explicitly in a particular location. It could be for young people to teach them a skill, earn a living, and additionally a way to keep them busy away from destructive social behaviors.
Studies show that children who attend school with friends involved in growing vegetables are more likely to prefer vegetables than those who do not. It further demonstrates the importance of this activity to children.
One way to identify potential partners includes posting fliers in communal areas such as supermarkets, gas stations, colleges, town halls, etc. Additionally, don’t ignore the power of social media. Post in groups and platforms that will offer a broader coverage to your target audience.
Organize the garden
For your community garden to have order and succeed, it is vital to create bylaws. The draft states what is expected of each member, when, and how. For example, there should be clear roles where people are assigned duties to plant, weed, water, and harvest the produce.
Laws and regulations offer an equal platform for each member and the expectations of each member. Additionally, it creates seriousness in the group. Individuals have a sense of belonging by being part of a group making a change or adding a positive footprint to mother earth.
The parents of the children can also get involved by creating such groups. The parents of these children may have particular needs to be able to set up a community garden. Parents of children with special needs can join a group to share their ideas and learn how to start a community gardening project. The children then learn how to care for and plant gardens.
While it might seem daunting, creating community gardens can be very rewarding. Gardens will provide food production and improve property values and beautify the neighborhood. These extra values will pay for the maintenance of your garden and can also provide income.