We just renewed our community garden plot for 2014, through Capital District Community Gardens (CDCG). Community gardens are available land (may be privately or publicly owned) that has been divided into individual garden plots. CDCG has more than 850 individual plots in 50 gardens in our area. Plots start at only $30 and include access to water, compost and mulch. A great deal, we think!
CDCG rules are straightforward and easy to follow: use organic practices, keep your weeds to a minimum, and don’t steal from other gardeners. Plots vary in size; ours is about 20x30 feet.
Our primary garden is at our house, where we grow the majority of our vegetables. Our plan for the community garden plot is simple – put in things we can plant and forget, and harvest all at once in late fall. Although our auxiliary plot is only about three blocks from home, I find that weeding, watering and harvesting are a lot more likely to happen when I see the garden out the kitchen window every day. The community plot is close enough that Jim walked the tiller over and back last spring, somehow the distance seems to lengthen come July.
Last year we put in butternuts, pie pumpkins and neck pumpkins at the community plot. We harvested about 150 pounds of squash and pumpkins, a great yield, in spite of severe powdery mildew and squash bugs. I watered a few times in the spring and weeded the entire plot twice over in early summer before letting the weeds have their way. We used organic spray on the PM, but generally speaking the plot didn’t require a lot of work beyond planting. We enjoyed walking over to the plot, especially in late summer, to visit our squash plants and urge the fruit on to ripeness. In the end we concluded that it was a good investment of money and effort.
CDCG rules prevent households from having more than one plot, which is probably a good thing for us. Having a third plot would stretch us very thin. This year’s expansion will be a container herb garden, but that’s a post for another day.