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Wapanohk Gardens and Edible Schoolyard Guidebook A Month to Month Guide: Covering the Basics of a Schoolyard Community Garden
Nourishment for Everyone!
Introduction Gardening 101
The intention of this Handbook is to provide a tangible road map to guide you to the goal of having a fun and successful gardening program. The following includes a month to month guide covering the technical aspects of operating a schoolyard & community garden. The suggested time frames for starting seeds and planting outdoors is intended to keep things simple, as you gain experience and confidence you may find yourself adjusting the starting times and experimenting with different techniques.
Plant Hardiness Zone
Thompson is Zone 0b. A plant Hardiness Zone tells you which plants will thrive where you live based on your climate. There are nine major zones with 0 being the harshest and 8 being the mildest. Sub-zones are indicated by a letter ‘a or b’ following the number which takes into account subtle local climatic variations. You will find zones mentioned on seed packages, plant labels and gardening books. Use the zone as a reference point when selecting seeds. You will find there are not many suited to zone 0b; however many plants do grow well here but may preform differently than in a warmer zone.
Frost Thompson Average Spring Frost Date (Last Frost): Second week of June Thompson Average Fall Frost Date (First Frost): Second week of September
What is a Perennial? Perennials are plants which survive year after year. In the autumn, the plant dies back and stores its energy in the root system during the winter. In the spring, the perennial root begins to grow again. Examples: Yarrow, Hyssop, Chive, Aster, Bleeding Heart Yarrow
What is an Annual? Annuals are plants that only live for one growing season. They start from seed, grow fast and mature to flower state and go to seed. Once the seeds develop the plant starts to die off and does not regrow. The seeds will often fall to the ground and germinate in the spring creating new plants, or seeds may be collected and regrown in another area. Examples: Zinnias, peas, beans, marigolds, petunias Bean Plant
What about soil? Soil is an important factor in gardening; if the soil is poor you most likely will not have healthy plants. Soil is a mixture of minerals, organic matter, water, air and micro-organisms. You can improve your soil by adding finished compost to your gardens. By adding compost to your soil you increase the nutrient level as well as create a loam soil which is best for plants.
Garden tools Gardening does not require a large investment into tools especially with raised garden beds.
• Hand trowel for digging and weeding • Digging Fork-for breaking up soil in the spring • Planting line • Garden hose • Watering wand or nozzle • Gloves • Pruners • Hand rake for leveling soil and weeding
***Many of these tools will be available for loan at Wapanohk – please ask the Community Connector what equipment can be made available.
Compost Compost is the breakdown or decomposition of food and garden waste. Some compost items include leaves, fruit and vegetable waste, and other plant waste. Tiny creatures such as bacteria, fungi, worms and small insects eat the material and turn it into compost. When the compost has become dark brown and crumbly and looks like soil it can then be added to gardens. More information on composting can be found on page 15.
Three Bin System
January Seed catalogues
Seed catalogues are a great way to help plan your garden and many times provide us with inspiration on what to plant. Most seed catalogues are free and can be requested by phone or online and mailed to your address. Online catalogues are also available and seeds can be ordered through the websites.
Heritage Harvest Seed – Carmen, MB Tel.204.745.6489 Website. www.heritageharvestseed.com Products: Rare and endangered heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seeds Lindenberg Seeds – Brandon, MB Tel.204.727.0575 Website. www.lindenbergseeds.ca Products: Bulbs, vegetable & flower seeds along with garden supplies Prairie Originals - Selkirk, MB Tel.1.866.296.0928 Website. www.prairieorginals.com Products: Provide native prairie plants, flowers, shrubs, trees and grasses. Sage Garden Herbs –Winnipeg, MB Tel.204.257.2715 Website. www.herbs.mb.ca Products: Carry a variety of unique seeds and plants including native species. Natural fertilizers and pest controls along with grow lights are also available. Stokes – Thorold, ON Tel.1.800.272.5560 Website. www.stokeseeds.com Products: Flower, vegetable, and herb seeds along with a wide selection of garden tools and accessories. T&T Seeds - Winnipeg, MB Tel. 204.895.9962 Website. www.ttseeds.com Products: Flower, vegetable and herb seeds including many suitable for the northern region. They carry a wide variety of trees, shrubs and fruit trees along with seed starting products. Vesey’s – Charlottetown, PEI Tel. 1.800.363.7333 Website. www.veseys.com Products: A wide selection of seeds, bulbs and sprouts as well as greenhouse, garden and composting supplies. William Dam Seeds- Dundas, ON Tel.905.628.6641 website. www.damseeds.ca Products: Herb, vegetable and flower seeds including organic options. They also carry garden supplies, cover crops and grass seeds.
January Make a list of what you would like to grow and use your seed catalogues to help plan!
Tip! Look for seeds with the lowest number of days to maturity
Herbs Vegetables Flowers
February Where to plant: plants can grow just about anywhere!
There are many ways to grow plants and several of these methods are demonstrated at Wapanohk School including traditional gardens, raised gardening, edible shrubs and container gardening. Traditional Garden: Planting directly in the ground
Raised Bed Gardening: Planted in a frame
Container Gardens: Planted in pots, buckets, tires, bags
February Plan your garden
Decide what plants you will grow and where you will plant them. You can decide to have themed gardens or plant random. Below are some ideas to help get you started.
Native/Traditional Manitoba Plants: There are several wild flowers and grasses which add beauty to your garden and also attract good insects, butterflies and birds. These species tend to be hardy and are appropriate for northern gardens. Several traditional plants were added to the medicine wheel garden including tobacco, sweetgrass, and yarrow. An additional benefit are that these plants are usually lower maintenance than other plant types.
Vegetable & Herb Gardens: These gardens can be a lot of fun for kids to help plan
Pizza garden: Tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, basil, oregano
Salad garden: chard, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, oriental greens, cucumber, carrots, peas, cherry tomatoes,
Dinner Feast: Carrots, potatoes, onions, turnip, beans, peas, parsley, peppers, dill, oregano, chives
Herb Garden: Basil, sage, dill, rosemary, chives, mint, borage, tarragon, parsley, thyme, marjoram
Tea Garden: Sage, hyssop, mint, chamomile, bergamot, lemon balm, rosehip
Healing Garden: Sweetgrass, lavender, mint, yarrow, garlic, sage, calendula, rosehip, tobacco, comfrey
Cut flowers: Sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, black eyed susan, calendula, lilies, yarrow, and dahlias
Butterfly Garden: Hyssop, aster, phlox, coneflower, salvia, zinnia, cosmos, milk weed, goldenrod
March Draw a plan of your garden- order seeds
Below is an empty 4X6 bed similar to the ones located on site. Choose the plants you would like to grow, draw them into the bed. For proper spacing refer to page 24.
Choose your favorites Beans** Beets Broccoli** Cabbage Carrot Cauliflower** Celery Corn Cucumber Eggplant** Garlic Gourds* Kale** Head Lettuce Leaf Lettuce Leeks Melons* Green Onion Parsnip Pea* Peppers Potatoes Radish Rutabaga Spinach Swiss Chard Tomatoes** Turnip Pumpkin* Zucchini Squash Herbs: *Indicate vine plants such as cucumber, they need space to crawl- give them lots of room **Tall plants either in the middle or north side of the garden and short around the edge depending on sun path
Tip! Check out page 25 for Companion planting info.
March Examples of how to draw out your garden
Plant your tallest plants on the north side of your garden, medium height plants in the middle and shortest plants on the south end of the garden to ensure maximum sun exposure. For tall or vine style plants staking can be done to help conserve space and add support and during windy days.
Example of a 4x4 Garden
March Understanding seed packages
When and how to plant seeds can be a confusing part of gardening and if not successful, it can turn many potential gardeners to the sidelines. It’s important for gardeners to read the seed packages as different varieties of seeds will have various maturity times along with other differences.
Example: Carrot Seed Baby Spike matures at 55 days and Little Finger matures at 60 days
Everything you need to know is on the seed package!
Seed packages tell you what type of lighting the plant will need, spacing (often can be less in small gardens) depth to plant seed, germination (how long it takes the seed to sprout) and maturity. The seed package will also tell you if the seed should be planted directly in the garden or if it should be started indoors.
• Always check what year the seeds were packed. Seeds will usually grow if the seeds are two or three years old but new seeds preform best. You can perform a germination test by placing three to five seeds between dampened paper towels and placed into a unzipped plastic sandwich bag. If the seeds are good you will see sprouts within 10-12 days.
• Due to our short growing season, choose seeds with the lowest number of days to maturity.
April Seed and planting guide
Seeds to Plant Directly Into the Garden Hardy cool-loving and long season crops
These are vegetables that can be planted directly into the garden
• Beets • Carrots • Leaf Lettuce • Onion Sets • Peas • Potatoes • Radishes • Swiss chard • Turnips • Beans *after the danger of frost is past-need
Seeds to Start Indoors Hardy cool-loving and long season crops
Vegetables that will grow well in cool climates but need a longer season then we have. Start seeds
6-8 weeks before last frost. (Mid April-early May)
• Broccoli • Cabbage • Cauliflower • Celery • Onion from Seed • Tomatoes • Herbs • Squash
Plants That Need Protection Tender, heat-loving &long season crops
These vegetables and fruits grow best when planted in a covered shelter or greenhouse. They cannot grow
and produce when the temperature are below 5 C
• Cucumbers • Peppers • Pumpkins • Squash • Tomatoes • Zucchini • Beans
Self -Seeding Vegetables Long lived perennials
These are crops that keep growing year after year if planted in a good location.
• Chives • Mint • Rhubarb • Horse Radish • Dill
April Indoor seeding
Starting seeds indoors is a commitment. Once they are sown they require water and warmth to germinate.
1. Use indoor potting soil –it is a light mixture and is sterile.
2. Keep soil moist not wet.
3. Once sprouts have emerged place under a grow light and rotate tray to avoid the plants bending towards the light.
4. Air Circulation prevents ‘damping off’ which is a term for rotting of the sprout. This happens when the soil becomes too wet and fungus begins to grow. Good air flow and not overwatering will help prevent the fungus from attacking your plants.
5. Transplanting your plants usually takes place after 4-6 weeks when your plants have become larger and you may see roots coming out the bottom of the starter pot. Taking care to be gentle and avoid handling the stem, transplant into a larger pot with soil in the bottom. Transplanting allows the plant more room to grow and increasing the root system.
6. Placing your plants outdoors for short periods when the temperature is warm, allows the plants to ‘harden off’. Hardening off your plants helps them to grow stronger, taller and sturdier. Each nice day place your plants outside in a sheltered area out of direct sunlight. Start off with one hour gradually increasing the duration outside, this will reduce stress on your plants.
7. After the last frost (2nd week in June) your plants will be ready to be planted outdoors.
a. Choose a nice calm day b. Dig a small hole for your plant, deep enough to cover the surface of the potting soil c. Pour water into the hole d. Place your plant in and fill in with soil, pressing lightly around the base of the plant to insure it is
sitting firmly e. Water around each plant well. You can allow pools of water to gather on top of the soil and wait
till it soaks in. The water has a long way to trickle down to the roots and will be absorbed by the soil along the way.
Where to get Supplies • Walmart
• Canadian Tire
• Giant Tiger
• Home Hardware
• Green House and Nurseries
• Grocery Stores *seeds
April Supplies needed for indoor gardening
1. Seed Tray and Seed Starting Soil or Peat Pellets & Tray
2. Plant Labels
April How to start
1. Select your seeds:
April Indoor Seed Starting
Herbs, Tomatoes, Squash, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leeks, Onions
*Adjust your seed starting depending on the maturity date of your seeds. The lower the number to maturity the closer to the last frost you will start your seed.
2. Fill the seed trays with your soil, lightly tap the tray but do not press the soil down.
Tip! Seed trays come in various sizes. Small seeds such as herbs can be
sown in smaller starter pots (1X1 or 2X2), while larger seeds such as squash and cucumber need larger pots (3X3X3)
3. If you are using peat pellets place them in a tray without holes and add water. Allow enough time for the pellets to hydrate and expand, drain off excess water. 4. Add two to three seeds per pot 5. Cover the pot with a little soil or push them down with the tip of a pencil. 6. Water gently making the pot only moist not soggy – using a spray bottle can be easier 7. Keep pots moist and do not let them dry out. 8. Place under grow lights or in a window. Once sprouts appear be sure to rotate the tray to encourage straight growth.
May Outdoor tasks
Checking the Gardens and Area
1. Check the gardens that are not mulched (raised gardens) to see if the soil is workable and if so loosen and break up the soil using a fork. Inspect gardens with trees and shrubs for any damage or obvious die off making notes for replace items.
• If there are annual plants in the garden (plants which die each year) the dead leaves and plants can be collected and added to the compost
• If there are perennial plants in the garden (plants that come back year after year) be gentle not to disturb them or step on them (you may not see them emerged from underground yet).If you wish to relocate the perennials you can dig them up carefully and move them to another area.
2. Check for any damage to boards, railings, signage etc. Make notes for any replacement or repairs that may be needed and any hazards to be managed immediately.
3. Check shrubs and trees for needed spring pruning – if you don’t know how to properly prune check out the resource page more information.
4. Check water source (if not frozen) to insure they do not need servicing.
5. Inventory tools and supplies such as hoses, hand tools, gloves etc.
6. Check the compost area for any repairs and maintenance. * See section on composting
7. Add mulch to any bare spots
Tip! Be sure to clean garden tools after each use, especially
after digging in wet soil as it will lead to rust and dulling your tools
Three bin compost system
1. Add waste to one end of the bin system. Mix in ‘green’ materials like grass clippings and fresh plant waste with ‘brown’ materials like dried leaves and wood chips.
2. Add a layer of garden soil to introduce microorganisms that
do the composting. Once the composting process is underway you will not need to add more soil.
3. Check the temperature of the bin with a compost thermometer from time to time. The pile should be warm in the middle and once reached 140 to 150F (60-65C) transfer the material to the second bin.
4. Continue to monitor the temperature of material in the second bin and again once reached to 140 to 150F (60-65C) transfer the material to the third bin.
5. Once the material has reached the third bin the temperature should rise quickly once again, continue to monitor and turn the pile. The third bin is where the compost will mature and should be left for about three months. Mature compost is a material in which biological activity has slowed so you will see a decrease in temperature. The mature compost will have a fine texture, dark color with a rich earthy smell. It is important not to rush and add compost to the garden too soon. Adding un-matured compost to gardens can stunt, damage and even kill plants.
6. Once the first bin has become vacant new material can be added and the process continued.
Greens Browns Other Do Not Compost
• Vegetable and fruit scraps (fresh, cooked or canned)
• Coffee grounds and filters
• Tea and tea bags • Garden waste • Fresh weeds
without seeds • Green grass
• Dry leaves • Straw • Sawdust • Untreated
woodchips • Twigs • Dried grass • Dried weeds
without seeds • Shredded paper • Tissue paper • Napkins and
• Egg Shells • Plain rice • Plain pasta • Bread • Wool • Cotton
• Meat • Fish • Eggs • Dairy products • Oily foods • Bones • Pet waste • Weeds with
mature seeds • Plants with
infested disease • Plastic • Synthetic
June Outdoor planting
When to plant outside?
The average last frost free day in Thompson is June 10th –The earliest planting outdoors should take place the second week in June.
Up until now your plants have only made short visits outdoors to ‘harden off.’ This process allows the plant to adapt to the bright sunlight and become strong as the wind blows them.
Seedling ‘hardening off’ outside for a A cold frame is a mini greenhouse. short while. Check to see if they need to be They are easy to construct out of an old watered when brought back indoors. window and lumber. Plants can harden off
in a cold frame, and stay in overnight, just close lid!
June Seeding your outdoor garden
How to seed your garden
1. Follow your drawing that you made up on page 8.
2. You can use string to help keep rows straight, or to mark off sections for planting. You can plant your garden in any pattern, get creative!
This bed illustrates 1 foot sections, allowing Straight rows can be made by adding a you to focus planting one square at a time. stake to each end of the garden and attaching This method is great for sharing among several string or twine to each end. This helps provide gardeners, you can assign one or several a guide over long distances, and lets you know squares to each person where your seeds have been planted.
3. Make a little trench where you would like to sow the seeds 4. Cover seeds with soil and label what seeds you have planted. Custom designed markers are fun to make and give a personal touch to the garden 5. Water well! Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprouts, if the seeds become wet then dry out it can kill the seeds off.
Watering • Keep soil moist, especially when plants are young • Water plants more often when the plant is flowering and
fruiting • Water ‘deeply’ refers to a long watering which is better
than frequent quick waters. o Put your finger in the soil, the soil should be wet 2-
3 inches down.
June Transplanting outdoors
How to transplant
1. Decide where to place your plants in the garden Tip! Check out page 25 for a list of companion planting
2. Gently squeeze the plant pot to loosen the plant. Support the plant stem between two knuckles and turn the pot upside down shaking the pot gently to coax it out.
3. Dig a hole larger than the root ball on the plant
4. Add water to the hole and place your plant in deep enough to just cover the soil line on your plant.
5. Fill in the hole and press the earth down firmly but gently to secure the plant upright.
6. Water well!
Tip! Grow Strong Tomatoes
Pinch the bottom branches off the stem. Bury the plant deep and on an angle, the tomato will grow stronger and set more roots
June/ July Tending the garden
Removing the weeds from the garden when they are small (two leaves) it is a much easier task to do then removing once they have grown larger. Use a hoe, trowel or hands to pull or scuffle out the weeds. Be sure to not allow the weeds to go to seed, once they flower they will set seeds and you will have even more weeds the following year!
Sometimes it difficult to identify the difference between a weed sprout and the sprouts of the seeds you’ve planted. Marking the rows or areas where you have planted seeds will help establish if something is expecting to grow, or if you are not sure you can leave the sprout until you can better identify it once it grows a bit larger.
Early Crop Harvest
If you planted radishes you will be able to harvest the first crop at the end of June beginning of July.
Tip! Choose an early variant of radish like French Breakfast which matures in 20 days!
It is important to add support systems to your plants to avoid being toppled over from the wind or the weight of the fruit. Tomato and cucumber cages, pea and bean trellis all help to support the plants, keep the fruit off the soil and protect surrounding plants from being smothered. Plant supports can be installed when plants are about 1 foot high.
July Garden maintenance
• Water • Weed • Prune suckers from tomatoes • Harvest and replant radishes and lettuce • Train beans, peas, cucumbers onto trellis
and secure if needed
Removing the sucker leaves from the tomato plants allow for better air circulation and promotes large size quality fruit.
Tip! Harvest leaf lettuce when young and tender.
Do not uproot the whole plant just snip or cut above the base of the plant. You should be able to get multiple harvests from the plants.
August /September Harvesting
Late Summer Tasks
• Weed • Water • Adjust or add additional Stakes • Keep an eye on forecasts
1. The best time to harvest vegetables is when they are fully-grown, but before they are tough and woody. 2. Do not try and store immature vegetable, except green tomatoes. 3. Produce should be free of disease or insect damage 4. Handle carefully to avoid cuts and bruises which increase mold and bacteria decay 5. Harvest before frost damage (except cold crops such as potatoes) 6. Leave one inch of stem on any vegetables that have them to prevent drying out (carrots, beets) 7. Do not wash vegetables before storing. Remove excess soil by drying out on newspaper then brushing soil off.
Cool and Moist -1-4C Store in bins, slatted crate or fridge
Dry and Warm 9-14C Store on a shelf
Dry and Cool 1C Will keep for 6-8 months
• Beets • Carrots • Parsnips • Turnip • Rutabaga • Kohlrabi • Cabbage • Celery • Potatoes
• Winter Squash • Pumpkins
*Will store till February if spread individually on a shelf
• Dried beans • Garlic • Onions
September/ October Garden clean up
End of Season Tasks
1. Save your leaves!
• Add them to the compost • Place on your garden as a mulch for the winter
2. Clean out dead plants from the garden and add to the compost 3. Be sure not to pull any perennial plants, if you are unsure if they are a perennial leave them in the garden and make a note for next spring to check it the plant regrows.
4. Do a final clean of all tools and return them to storage. Replace or make notes that replacement tools or supplies are needed for the following year
5. Keep a gardeners journal to record notes on the varieties of seeds you planted, record which ones did well and ones that did not. Be sure to record dates of planting and harvesting, this will give you a guide to follow and be able to compare your garden from year to year.
Tip! If you are unable to keep up with the food in your garden or do not have the means to store it fresh,
you can preserve it for later.
• Dehydrate or Drying • Freezing • Canning
These techniques preserve your food from spoiling, and lengthen the time you have to eat it. There are many resources online that can provide instructions on how to preserve food.
Plant Spacing For square foot gardening
Plant # Per Square Foot Plant # Per Square
Basil 4 Lettuce, Leaf 4
Beans, bush 9 Lettuce, Head 1
Bean, Pole 8 Onion 6
Beets 9 Green Onion 16
Carrots 16 Oregano 1
Celery 1 Parsley 1
Chives 9 Parsnips 16
Cilantro 9 Peas 8
Collard Greens 1 Peppers 1
Corn 3 Potatoes 1
Cucumber 2 Radish 16
Dill 1 Rosemary 1
Eggplant 1 Rutabaga 4
Garlic 6 Spinach 9
Kale 1 Swiss Chard 4
Kohlrabi 4 Sweet Potato 1
Leeks 6 Turnip 9
More spacing can be found on websites listed on the resource page.
Companion Planting For any garden
Companion planting is a method of planting different plants in close proximity to enhance growth or protect from pests. The chart below provides some information on which plants grow best together and which to avoid planting together.
Plant Good Companions Bad Companions To Repel/ Benefit
Basil Beets, Tomato, Marigold Mosquitoes, Flies,
Hornworms Borage Tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries Tomato Worm
Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Leek,
Lettuce, Parsnip, Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Strawberry, Savory, Sunflower,
Basil, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Onion,
Pole Bean Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Potato, Radish,
Rosemary, Strawberry, Savory, Marigold
Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Fennel, Kohlrabi,
Onion, Radish, Sunflower
Beets Bush Bean, Cabbage family, lettuce, Lima Bean, Onion, Radish, Sage
Mustard, Pole Bean
Cabbage Family Bush Bean, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Dill, Lettuce, Mint, Nasturtium, Onions,
Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme, All Strong Herbs, Marigold
Pole Beans, Strawberry, Tomato
Caraway Dill Loosens Soil Catnip Eggplant Flea Beetle,
Ants Carrots Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Chive ,
Lettuce, Leeks, Onions, Peas, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Tomato
Celery, Dill, Parsnip
Celery Almost everything except ->->->-> Carrot, Parsley, Parsnip
Chamomile Cabbage, Onion Coriander Aphids
Chives Carrots Aphides, Mites, Nematodes,
Cucumber Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cabbage Family, Corn, Dill, Eggplant,
Lettuce, Marigold, Nasturtium, Onions, Peas, Radish, Tomatoes
Strong Herbs, Potato
Horseradish Potato Potato Bugs Hyssop Cabbage, Grapes Radish Cabbage Moth, Potato
Bug Lettuce Carrots, Garlic, Onion, Radish
Marigold Plant everywhere on garden Mexican Bean Beetle, Nematodes, Others
Mint Cabbage, Tomatoes Cabbage Moth , Aphids, Ants, Flea Beetles
Cabbage, Radishes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers
Aphids, Pumpkin Beetles, Squash Beetles, Cabbage Moths, Potato
Beetles, Whiteflies Onion Beets, Cabbage Family, Carrots,
Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnips, Pepper, Spinach, Squash,
Strawberries, Tomato, Turnip Savory
Beans, Peas, Sage Bores, Mites, Slugs, Cutworms
Peas Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant,
Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Pepper,
Onion, Late Potato
Potato Bush Bean, Cabbage Family, Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Marigold,
Onion, Parsnip, Peas
Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Squash Family, Sunflower,
Radish Beets, Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce,
Nasturtium, Parsnip, Pea, Spinach, Squash Family
Hyssop Cucumber Beetles
Tomato Basil, Bean, Cabbage Family, Carrots, Celery, Chive, Cucumber,
Garlic, Head Lettuce, Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Parsley,
Pole Bean, Corn, Dill, Fennel, Potato
Community Gardens The Basics of Getting Started
There are various styles of community gardens, it is important to choose a model or a combination of both that bests serves the needs of your group as well as the community or groups participating.
1. Collective Community Gardens- follow the premise of –an all for one- everyone contributes their effort and everyone shares the harvest. Together the participants decide what to plant and how to design the space.
This style is well suited for groups that have a strong membership that already or can meet regularly. Beginner gardeners may excel in this environment as they are supported by a close knit group.
2. Allotment Community Gardens- the space or gardens are divided into individual plots are independently maintained by the assigned gardener(s). The gardeners come and go on their own schedule and make all decisions to what is planted, the design, and keep the harvest.
This style works best for groups with varying schedules and a variety of aspirations for what they want from their gardening experience.
Step 1: Engagement
The first step is to let people know about the plant to have a community garden and gauge the level of interest, commitment and support from potential gardeners and stakeholders. This step would take place early in the year (January-February) to give you lots of time to gather a group and work through the following steps.
Step 2: Garden Committee Once the community/ group have been engaged, form a small committee of volunteers to establish and run the garden. The garden committee will host regular meetings during the year to make plans and decisions about the gardens including organize events such as spring planting, harvest and cleanup. The committee may decide to select a community garden coordinator to lead the development process and to advise and update the committee. The coordinator could be a volunteer or a paid staff and could have a varying amount of responsibilities. Forming the committee should take place around February or early March.
Step 3: Funding There are a number of ways community gardens get the support and resources they need. Some operate on membership fees, donations and fundraisers. Others operate on corporate sponsorship and government and agency funding.
• Membership fees- rental fees for the garden plots can help cover some of the operational costs of the garden. The rental fee could vary depending on size of your garden and location.
• Community Groups & Businesses – Hardware stores and garden centers can provide in-kind support, donations, expertise and labor.
• Corporations- Can provide donations and sponsorship • Fundraising- Raising money through various events, sales, etc. • Municipal, Provincial, Federal Government – Various grants are offered though these groups
and could support a community garden. They generally require an organization to submit an application for funding, maintain financial and activity records and provide a final report.
Step 4: Garden Guidelines
Garden guidelines should be established through consultation with the gardeners, committees, and other stakeholders such as the school and school district. Garden guidelines help ensure that everyone understands how the garden will operate and what is expected of participants, they should be in place BEFORE participants have been assigned garden plots. The guidelines would include information about health and safety and gardener conduct. The guidelines provide a place to record procedures to ensure that from year-to-year new volunteers and participants know how to start and end the garden season and run activities. Some key areas that could be included in the guidelines:
• Volunteer and participant responsibilities & expected conduct • Agreements, fees, waivers, and other forms • Safe handling of tools • Garden procedures • Important contacts
Step 5: Community Gardner Application
Many community gardens have applications for participants to fill out. The application allows you to be able to collect all the participants contact information along with any other information you may wish to collect such as the level of gardening experience they have, what they wish to learn or the reason they want to participate in the program. There are several examples of applications that can be viewed online and you can customize one to suit your needs. Having applications available for the beginning of April with a deadline of the beginning of May allows you enough time to plan and meet with gardeners before the season starts.
YouTube: There is a video for just about every garden task, just type in what your wanting to do and
watch a how-to video. There are some great ones for transplanting, building raised gardens and other structures, square foot gardening and container gardening.
Growing Guides & Manuals: Many garden centers and nurseries have a gardening info area on their webpage. Many companies will also have detailed information about products and tools and some even have how-to videos. Be sure to check out the companies you request your seed catalogues from. www.veseys.com www.gov.mb.ca/ana/pdf/mafri-gmnm.pdf
Community Gardening: There is a lot of information on the web covering community gardens here are a few that have resources that have lots of helpful tips and suggestions to make the program successful. www.gwfrt.com – Check out http://www.gwfrt.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/GWFRT-CG-Best-Practices-Toolkit.pdf www.justfood.ca –Check out http://wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CGN_Garden_Guide_2015.pdf
Composting: Some great information is available on the following sites and includes information in vermicomposting (indoor composting with Red Wriggler worms) www.greenactioncenter.ca www.compsoting.org
Edible School Yards: Information on how to sustain an edible school yard, technical advice, and ideas on how to link gardening and food to school curriculum. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/chp/cdrr/nutrition/docsandpdf/CreatingandGrowingEdibleSchoolyardsManual.pdf http://unicef.org/education/files/How_to_Set_up_School_Garden.pdf
Square Foot Gardening: Information on small scale gardens and how to plant them. www.greenactioncentre.ca www.mysquarefootgarden.net