1. Gather local support
Speak to your neighbours, café owners, schools etc. and see how much support other members in the community are able to offer. It is essential that you have the backing of your community as a community garden is a team effort – after all, there is no ‘I’ in team!
2. Reign in your team
With the help of your team, set goals and outline rules of engagement. Establish what the garden will be, what you will grow, how it will be used and how the harvest will be shared. Draw up a design of the garden so that everyone can visualise it.
3. Set your sights on a site
Next up is locating a site, but before you do, we suggest visiting existing community gardens to speak to their members about what works well, what their frustrations are and what you should consider.
4. Take your plans to council
Before going any further, it’s important you take your plans to council and ensure they are on board. They will be able to advise on land ownership or any future plans for the location you have chosen. Local councils are often very helpful with setting up a community garden so be sure to check them out.
5. Check the conditions
You need to ensure you have the right conditions if your garden is to flourish. Here’s a few things to consider:
- Has the soil been tested to make sure it is conducive to growing?
- Do you have a water supply?
- Does the location receive ample sunlight?
6. The Secret Is The Soil
Now that you have your site and your team, you want to get stuck into planting! Right? We suggest checking the condition of your soil first! If you have a clay based or sandy soil, it’s probably best to install raised garden beds. If this isn’t an option, it’s important that you nourish your soil to give your garden has the best chance at success. Add Yates Dynamic Lifter, and compost to the soil and fork in well. Cover with an organic mulch, like sugarcane or pea straw and water in well. Water regularly to help it break down and check the condition of the soil after 6 weeks. Repeat if necessary.
7. Get Planting!
Now the fun part! Rally up the troops and get planting! It’s important everyone has a role to play so we suggest creating a roster for feeding, watering and general maintenance, so that everyone feels like they are a part of something special.
Community gardens are a great way to connect with the community and bring people together. They help to minimise feelings of isolation and are a great way to meet new, like-minded friends!