Are you a resident or business owner who wants to host a community garden in your community? If so, there are many ways that you can do it. The key to a successful garden is community involvement. Community gardens need to be planned, organized and maintained by the residents of the community.
The first thing you will want to do is take a look at your local regulations for community gardens. In Orange County, there are a number of restrictions and rules that govern how you can organize and operate them. One of the biggest problems with community gardens is the fact that many people are just too busy to tend them. The residents need to have enough time to dedicate to maintaining these gardens.
The next thing you should do is get together a committee of gardeners from throughout the community. Find a couple of your most interested gardeners and bring them to your planning meeting. They can tell you what they would like to see and what obstacles are coming up.
Once you have your group assembled, you should find the financial support for it. There are several ways to raise money for community gardens.
- You could organize a raffle;
- hold a fundraiser;
- also you could look into grants offered by the county and various foundations.
Community gardens are very low cost. If you have a greenhouse or vegetable garden, you can set one up for free. There is no need to rent a building or buy seeds or fertilizer. Even if you have to buy some seeds or some new equipment, your gardens can grow just as well without all the extra expenses.
Once you have a team assembled, you should start looking for groups in your area that are interested in hosting a garden party. You can advertise on message boards throughout the community or meet up at a gardening club or food bank. Many gardeners find this to be a more convenient way of getting together as well as being more productive because there are no other obligations. Organizers plan many community events throughout the year, and your gardeners will benefit from the networking.
In order to keep your community gardens healthy and growing, you will have to water them regularly. If you do not have a water source on the property, you will have to dig a trench and put in a system of pumps and controllers to collect rainwater. Gardeners in Northern California are particularly vulnerable to long periods of drought because of the warm climate. By using rain barrels to collect water, you can prevent your veggies from drying out.
There are other things that you can do to maintain a healthy garden. Grow plants that are native to your area, especially if you live in an area with some kind of drought. Plant vegetables that can thrive even during a drought by starting them young and let them grow to their full potential. Growing organic vegetables is another way to help the environment while you’re at it!
Plant communities gardens in areas where natural disaster such as hurricanes or fires may occur. Even if a community garden is only destroyed once, the rebuilt landscape will be less healthy than a normal garden. After a hurricane, a community garden in the devastated area will need to be monitored closely by a local gardener. A fire can do just the same.
If you don’t want to hire a gardener, there are many books and magazines available to help you design your community gardens and keep them growing for years to come. Gardening is not for the faint of heart! You should also have some self-confidence that you can take care of your own garden, but it does not have to take over your life.
Your community gardens will look great when they are fully planted and ready to bloom. Some people wait until there is a major disaster before planting their community gardens, but that is too long. Wait at least a year or two before planting. Then, you will have more time to care for it. Remember that there are certain things you should do each day to ensure your garden thrives.
Keep the dirt mowed and fertilized. Make sure that the plants get plenty of sunlight. Water them daily and use mulch where needed. Grow your community gardens in areas that get an average of 6 hours of sunlight a day. In warm weather, you will need to water less often.