Learn how to interact, plot and produce a variety of different plants and crops on shared land by creating a community garden.
Community gardening is on the rise and with a shared plot, you can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables all year round and share crops with others.
Here are 10 tips from Community Gardening: The Beginners Guide to Growing Crops in a Small Place to get you started:
1. Assessing your site
You may want to consider what the access is like, assuring neighbouring plots are tidy and without weeds, that there is water supply and the appropriate amount of sunlight for the type of produce you want to plant.
2. Preparing your soil
Find out what’s in your soil and find out which crops will thrive on that sort, or consider improving the soil. Remove large objects, weeds and fertilise the soil before continuing.
3. Creating your space
Figure out where your beds and borders will be. Mark your area and make small paths to access the garden. Prepare the edging of the garden and decide whether you would like raised garden beds.
4. Protecting crops
The book has tips on protecting crops from wind, frost and pests. Some examples are netting, windbreaks, rabbit proof fencing and cloches. Cloches are used to protect seedlings that need extra warmth early in the season.
5. Feeding and composting
Keeping plants well fed and mulched encourages healthy plants throughout the year.
Nearly all garden waste can be recycled through composting methods that can take 10 days to three weeks.
6. Watering and weeding
Regular watering will be necessary for all plants, especially in Queensland’s summer and the removal of weeds will ensure crops are absorbing all the water and sunlight they need.
7. What to grow?
The book sets out some great ideas for crops suitable for different types of soil, budgets and sun positioning. For example if your plot is in the sun, tomatoes, chillies, basil and strawberries are all easy to grow.
8. Create a style
Want to create colour by mixing herbs or flowers into the plot? This book shows you how to incorporate those into the design, as well as offering inspiration for plotting with children and animals.
9. Crop rotation
Consider a long-term plan when planting your crops. If you make a crop rotation work you’ll have a variety of produce all year round to share with friends, families and other gardeners.
10. Sowing and Planting
Ideally seeds should be sown and each plant requires a different amount of seeds per pot to flourish.
There are plenty of existing Brisbane community gardens to get involved with, will you be considering community gardening this summer?