Participating in a Community Garden

Participating in a Community Garden

If you have a passion for gardening but live in the city where you can’t have a garden of your own then participating in a community garden may be just what you need.  Community gardens give you the chance to hang out with friends and neighbors while growing plants, vegetables, herbs or flowers.  There are a variety of different types of community gardens or you can organize one yourself.  Here are some of the most common types of community gardens that you can participate in.

Neighborhood Gardens

Neighborhood gardens are probably the most common type of community garden.  It is where there is a vacant plot of land in a community and a group of neighbors grow vegetables and flowers together.  Everyone works on the garden whether it is planting, watering or weeding.  These gardens not only grow food for the neighborhood they also help to beautify it.


These are common throughout the UK but you can find allotment gardens in the US as well.  In this case a vacant lot is divided up into individual plots and these are assigned to local residents who can grow what they want.  These are great for people who live in apartments with no yard space of their own.  You can see a variety of different flowers and vegetables growing here.

Charity Gardens

These type of gardens focus on growing food that is used to feed the homeless and people living in shelters.  Charity gardens can be run by a business or a community group to help combat poverty.  Often times homeless people are given the chance to volunteer or work in these gardens.  They grow using organic methods and produce their own compost for the following year.  If you have the chance to donate or participate you can do your community a world of good.

Gardens at School

Gardens at school are a great way to teach kids about gardening and growing food, city kids rarely get an opportunity to do so.  It teaches children science, math along with topics like environmentalism and sustainable farming methods.  It helps kids to learn where their food came from along how it is grown.

Participating in any kind of community garden is a wonderful opportunity and you should grab it if you get the chance.  It brings fresh produce to your table without having it shipped across the country.  It brings neighborhoods and communities together and it can help deal with homelessness and hunger.  If you can’t participate then please donate to your local community garden project.

Building a Herb Garden

Building a Herb Garden

Herbs make food taste absolutely delicious and fresh herbs make it even tastier, not only that they are an integral part of a healthy diet.  There are plenty of herbs with medicinal value.  Growing herbs yourself is fairly easy to do right in your own home with just a few pots.  If you have the backyard space then you can grow a variety of herbs including some of the more popular ones including dill, basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.  While you can grow all of these in a garden some of them are better off in pots so they don’t crowd out other plants.

Which Herbs to Grow

You can grow any or all of the herbs listed above but really grow the ones that you are going to use the most.  If you cook a lot of Italian food then basil is probably at the top of the list, whereas if you like Mexican cuisine then cilantro may top your list.  It doesn’t matter what type of herbs you choose to grow all of them will make your food taste wonderful.

Growing Herbs Indoors

If you have a window sill in your kitchen you can start growing herbs right now.  Most grocery stores will have ready to buy herbs growing in pots that you can take home on your next trip.  If your kitchen doesn’t have a window or you don’t get an adequate amount of light throughout the day, don’t worry you can still grow some herbs.  There are smart herb gardens that take care of everything you simply add the seed cartridges and in a few weeks you will have lovely herbs growing.

Growing Herbs Outdoors

If you prefer to grow your herbs outdoors you can add them to your existing flower or vegetable gardens fairly easily.  You can also create a separate corner just for herbs, although you may want to put it as close as possible to the kitchen.  Raised gardens are also an easier way to separate your herbs from the other plants in the garden.  One of the benefits of combining your herbs with your flowers is that they help keep unwanted pests away while at the same time attracting the insects that you do want in your garden.

If you grow vegetables in your garden then it makes sense to also grow a few herbs.  Some herbs grow really well next to other vegetables, they will keep away insects and help the other veggies to thrive. For instance tomatoes and basil grow really well together, which make sense since they taste so good together.  Mint can improve the flavor of your melons and chives will keep aphids away from carrots.

Growing herbs is incredibly easy these versatile plants can be grown indoors or out so you can fresh herbs on hand all the time.

Gardening Needs a Plan

Gardening Needs a Plan

So you want to plant a garden but you don’t know where to begin, gardening needs a plan and here are some of the things that you should consider.  What kind of space you have, whether you live in a condo or house.  How much you have to spend on your gardening efforts and what your overall goals are, do you want flowers and plants or vegetables.  Let’s look at these considerations and how you can work around them.

How Much Space You Have

If you live in an apartment or condo then your gardening efforts might be limited to window boxes or flower pots.  Don’t let that stop you, you can still get creative and make what little space you have look fabulous.  If you have your own home then you have a lot more freedom but be wary of home owners’ associations and the rules that they have in place.  You may be forced to have pristine green grass in the front yard but the backyard is yours to do with as you wish.

What Style of Gardening Do You Prefer?

Do you want a perfectly manicured landscape that looks like it was done by a professional or do you want something wilder?  Do you want flowers or do you want vegetables to grow in your garden?  Do you have the time and energy to do all of the work that goes with having a garden or do you want to hire a landscaper to come in a couple of times a month and do it for you.  Do you want green space or do you want to relax in your yard while smelling the flowers?  Here is a look at some of the different styles of gardens to give you some inspiration.

The Budget

This is an important consideration when it comes to gardening.  Some people grow vegetables because they can get organic vegetables from the garden without having to spend a fortune.  However landscape gardening can cost a pretty penny.  If you want to bring in landscapers to come in and plant and maintain the garden for you then be prepared to pay.  If you are doing the landscaping yourself you need to budget in not just the cost of plants and soils but garden tools as well.  If you want exotic plants or to add trees to your garden, that can also put a dent in your budget.

Before you move even a spec of dirt you should have a plan for what you want your garden to be.  Don’t worry about space you can put plants in even the smallest of spaces.

Growing Your Own Vegetables

Growing Your Own Vegetables

There is nothing like having fresh fruit or vegetables in the summer and fall, especially when they come from your own garden.  Growing your own vegetables is a great idea it saves you money and helps to feed you and your family.  Not only that but gardening has been proven to reduce stress and gets you out into the sun.  Let’s look at how easy it is to grow your own vegetables.

Getting Started

Before you start digging in the dirt you need to consider the size and location along with the soil composition.  Plants are going to need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day so don’t plant your garden in the shade.  You also need to have adequate drainage or you will end up with root rot and your plants won’t grow.  You need adequate space for your plants, you can start out the first year with a small plot and expand in later years as you learn.

Good soil is everything when it comes to gardening, without good soil you won’t grow anything.  You want soil that is fairly loose and not too hard to till.  If you have hard packed soil don’t worry you can still plant a garden you can either add compost to it or you can head to the local garden center and buy some soil.  If you are serious about growing your own vegetables then you should consider making your own compost.

Container Gardening

If you are an apartment dweller or don’t have a lot of space in your backyard then you can try your hand at container gardening.  You can put your plants on your balcony or even in your home if you have to.  Look for the spot where they will get the most light.  One of the biggest perks of container gardening is not having to deal with pests and wildlife trying to eat your vegetables.  Some plants that take to container gardening really well are tomatoes, spinach, beets, peppers and eggplant.  Just make sure that you have adequate drainage in your containers.

Fresh organic vegetables grown with your own two hands are amazing, there is nothing like feeding your family the freshest of produce.  Not only that but gardening is a way to connect with nature and reduce stress.  If you can get your kids interested in gardening it might even be easier to convince them to eat a vegetable if they had a part in growing it.