Neigborhood Veggie Gardens: Plan, Plant & Share

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Neigborhood Veggie Gardens

With a bit of planning among fellow food gardeners, you may be able to develop a seed growing program that reduces costs, workload, and waste while also helping everyone grow diverse and abundant edibles.

Ffilling watering can from rain barrel to water seedlings

 Rather than going it alone and growing more than you’ll need, share the workload instead!

Early in the season get together with a few fellow food gardeners to discuss your favorite food crops. Bring your favorite catalogs, notes about your favorite plant varieties, and a list of what you really want to grow in your garden in the season ahead.

• When you sit down together,start by deciding which plants everyone wants to grow. Then determine how many of each of those plants each gardener will need. One person may be in charge of seeding sufficient paste tomatoes by early May for your growing group. Another person may take on getting a dozen broccoli plants ready for all the gardens before the heat of summer sets in.

Your neighborhood group may also choose to pool funds and place one large order for seeds, soil and other seeding supplies. Or, if you’re particularly fortunate, you may have diehard cultivators in your club who come prepared to donate their cache of seeds and other growing materials. Just be sure everyone agrees that the team effort will meet individual needs. And, if one of your favorites doesn’t make the team’s list, there’s no reason you can’t grow it anyway.

Late summer squash ripening in the garden

• If your members include both new and veteran gardeners, plan to give the more difficult plants to the seasoned growers and leave the more simple plants to the newbie.

• Just remember: sometimes despite your best efforts, plants will die and crops will fail.So, keep those communication channels open and forgive your neighbor if her community squash crop goes kaput. If this happens and it’s too late in the season to sow another round of seeds, dive into the group’s coffers to buy replacement starts at a local plant sale or nursery. It’s bound to happen, and you’ve just got to be ready to keep on growing before the season passes you and your neighbors by.