What resources would I need to build a community garden? - Knowledgebase Question

White Hall, Arkansas
Question by NathanPrado
September 6, 2017
I'm trying to have a community garden built in my area. I've already got the general plan finished, but neither me or the group I'm with know much about gardening. My question primarily is what exactly do we need in terms of resources? I know we'd need a general building material like wood, but what other than that if anything? Also, would we be fine with just building an open garden rather than some form of greenhouse? Lastly, what sort of upkeep does a garden require?

Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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A comment from plantcollector
September 6, 2017
This is just my opinion of what a community garden should be and not a answer. I'm not sure if there is a correct answer. I think a community garden should be raised beds 4' wide and 8' long 18" deep soil should be 60% compost 40% top soil a 50 pound bag of perlite per garden. Each person that signs up for a garden is responsible for the up keep for the season which includes keeping it weed free without chemicals, keeping fruits and vegetables picked before rotting, and any other rules to keep it looking good. If they don't comply there plot goes to someone else. You might be able to go to a local hardware store to see if they will donate supplies. Maybe change a small fee to help with to cost.

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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A comment from greene
September 7, 2017
There is a town not far from you
-
Pine Bluff -
talk to them to see how they got started. You may be able to qualify for a grant.
http://www.pbcommercial.com/ne...

Here in Savannah, Georgia there is a beautiful community garden in the center of town, consisting of several raised beds. Each bed is sponsored and tended by one group. In another area of our county (further from the center of town) there are garden plots available on a first come-first served basis. Those plots are located in a park.

It would help to know on whose land you want to create the garden.

Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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Answer from stone
September 7, 2017

1

Are you hoping to build a garden on a vacant lot? A public park? Land you own?
What kind of community garden?
CSA?
Or where everybody gets their own plot?

While framed beds are easy to maintain, provided that each has a faucet....
A piece of nylon string is a quick easy way of dividing sections.

If you are working with new soil, fertility and tilth are probably going to be primary concerns.

Played out tractor pan usually isn't productive.

While greenhouses are nice, they probably aren't the first place to start.
I don't have a greenhouse, and I do alright. I start plants in the bedroom window....

There's still time to get the autumn garden started.
Plant turnips and rutabagas, carrots, parsley, lettuce.... And any other cold season seeds that you can get your hands on now.

Upkeep of a garden can be as much or as little work as you want.
Most of us use a lot of mulch around our plants to prevent competition from unwanted self sown plants.... And this also helps retain moisture, as well as providing that "finished" look to the planting areas.

As far as a materials list?
I would encourage any beginning gardener to keep things simple at first.
There's no need to invest huge amounts of effort and materials and money into something that you don't even know if you are going to enjoy enough to re-coup the investment.

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
Answer from josebaca
September 11, 2017

1

In a word, TENACITY, all the short comings, all the minutiae, missed connections with contractors, compost/manure connections and the ( especially ) the new gung ho gardeners that start out on fire then fizzle to no shows.
Here I'm the go to guy for all the school gardens that teachers want to put up in spring, we go through so much....stuff that becomes a real headache after awhile.They want (demand) everything and don't really care how it gets paid for, Nutrition Services stakes their demands and when the Health Dept. gets involved it goes downhill fast.But the most galling fact is that when summer break arrives EVERYBODY leaves without a second thought, then I get complaints that weeds overran their plot and NOBODY took care of it. Now we have a sort of contract with the school that states whatever they put in will be cared for by them.
I have put in at least 12 gardens here in the last 10 years or so and only three are still functioning though the last got 'vandalized' by kids so next year she'll " just plant some flowers". But the one teacher that has endeavored gives me the will to not be pessimistic.
Hang in there and keep going and eventually people will respect and admire your hard work.
Many blessings;
J.R.

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