Join a Community Garden Next Year

If you aren't a community garden gardener yet and you want to be, it's time to start doing some research. 

This is the time because many community gardens start leasing out their open plots at the beginning of the year. It's good to be ready ahead of time!

You need to:

  • Find the community gardens in your area. 
  • Check out their websites or contact the garden manager to find out the requirements for membership.
  • If you meet those requirements, find out the responsibilities for members. 
  • If you are willing and able to agree to those responsibilities, get an application.
    • If you can, fill it out ahead of time. 
  • Find out when they start accepting applications.
  • Put a reminder on your calendar a few days before when they start accepting new gardener applications. Put the link to the website in the calendar reminder, so you don't lose it.

Often, the plots are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. You want your application to be at the front of the line! 

How to Find Community Gardens

Thankfully, we have the Internet and a lot of community gardens have at least a basic website. In Google, you can search for "community garden near me" or "community gardens <your county, state>." It should at least get you started. 

Sometimes churches have community gardens on their land. If you have one near you, try calling the church (or emailing) and see if they let non-members garden in their community garden. They might...sometimes members' enthusiasm wanes for the garden and they might like to have some new gardeners use their plots. 

Colleges and universities may also have community gardens.

Keep Close to Home

I recommend you look for gardens within a 10 mile radius of your home. The closer, the better! If it's too long a drive to get to the garden, you may not visit the garden as often as needed. You need to tend to your garden at least once a week, but sometimes two or three times a week, when it's a busy time.

If you are still having trouble finding a community garden, consider contacting local resources:

  • Parks and recreation department (in your city or county)
  • Your county's Cooperative Extension Service office
  • American Community Gardening Association website, if you're in the United States. 
    • Their directory is good, but not every garden in the US is listed

Community gardening is a lot of fun. When you garden with other gardeners, they support and encourage each other to succeed. 

If you're still not sure, at least do the research and learn more about your local garden. You still have plenty of time to decide.

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