Diggin' In ā€” Why Community Gardens Are a Great Idea for Beginners

| 6/20/2017 12:00:00 AM

AmyWe moved back to the Pacific Northwest almost two years ago. For the first year, I was in complete denial about our permanency in this state, mainly because I was hoping we’d move back to Oklahoma. But as they say, “We make our plans and God laughs.

So here we are and, at least until the unforeseen future, this is where we’ll be. Settling in and planting roots in relationships and in the garden have become a priority. However, the “micro-lot” that our rental sits on doesn’t lend itself to much gardening, so we put our names on a waiting list at the local community garden and waited.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that vegetable gardening is a whole new hobby for me. I’ve always grown my favorite floral perennials, but never really dabbled into the vegetable side until this spring. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait too long to be notified that not only were we now the new adoptive gardeners to a single plot, but we were lucky enough to garner two!

As is my personality, I jumped with both rain boots on and never looked back. And I’m so glad I did. Being a part of a local community garden has so many benefits and I’d like to share the few that have made an impression on me thus far:

Freebies: During our March volunteer cleanup day, many of the experienced gardeners brought with them tray after tray full of early spring sprouts, such as lettuces, kales, and Swiss chard starts to share with those who joined in the melee of yanking up invasive weeds, mint, and other wild growing plants that had found their way into the garden. Freebies help save money, especially for a newbie like myself who didn’t have a clue I could plant lettuce that early in the spring.

Walking Encyclopedias:  For me, that’s exactly what experienced gardeners are. They can tell when to plant peas, how far apart to plant your bok choy, and give you the recipe for a homemade organic fertilizer that will make your plants look like they’re on steroids. I love those walking encyclopedias. Almost every evening I head to the garden there’s another gardener who’s more experienced and knowledgeable than I am who is eager to answer questions and point out tips and tricks to keep my little garden plots happy and healthy.

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