Every year, a larger portion of our population is taking up residence in cities and suburban areas. Many urban dwellers would love to have a small garden and to grow their own food. But unfortunately, they may not own their own land. Want can a renter or tenant do to be able to garden in urban areas, even if they have no land to grow on?
There are three strategies that can enable you to experience the joy of outdoor gardening: Community Gardens, Container Gardening & Self-watering Containers or Planter.
Gardening is a growing trend in urban and suburban areas. And community gardens are often a crucial tool for enabling people to have access to a small plot of their own. You may have one in your area. Each community garden will have it’s own set of rules. You may be able to secure your own raised bed that will only cost a nominal fee each year.
If you live in an apartment, you may have literally NO outdoor spaces at you disposal. In such a case, a community garden would be a perfect fit for you! You may have shared access to tools or materials like mulch an compost. Many such gardens also have very perennials like berry bushes and fruit trees.
If you have a small outdoor living space, you might enjoy growing on-site. Container gardening is the perfect way to do so. You don’t have to worry about disturbing the soil on your rental property. In fact, you might not even have any soil. But large containers will allow you to grow full sized vegetable plants. And smaller containers, like window boxes and great for things like lettuce or herbs.
As renters, we might find that we move from time to time. A container garden will allow you to pack up you garden and move it along with you. Some people have even grown fruiting perennials like dwarf fruit trees in this way.
These are really just an extension of the container gardening. But sub-irrigated containers are worthy of having their own separate category. You might see these referred to as SIPs (sub-irrigated planters). But basically, they simply containers that contain a water reservoir.
This extra pocket of water is slowly wicked upward as the moisture in the soil get used by your plants. This gives you an extra cache of water. Your plants enough a nice buffer against droughts and hot Summer days. They grow larger and healthier, experiencing reduced water stress. Watering is less of a chore for you, and you may even be able to skip a few days between watering.
There are many retail kits, such as the EarthBox. In this video we look at a City Pickers SIP kit. Buy these are easy to make yourself, using DIY instructions. Window boxes, 5 gallon buckets and 18 or 30 gallon totes are all possible candidates for an SIP conversion.
See my site for lots of self-watering container ideas:
WHERE CAN YOU CONTAINER GARDEN?
There is a nearly endless list of possible locations for growing some fruits or veggies in containers. Think of hardscapes, spot that are paved with concrete, asphalt, stones or brick. Options include: Along a sidewalk or walkway, on a deck or patio, along a driveway, on a balcony or even… a rooftop!
GARDENING ON A ROOFTOP TERRACE:
In many urban areas buildings are designed with flat roofs. Sometimes such spaces are efficiently used as an outdoor living area. Similar to a deck or a patio, such rooftops allow residents to sit an relax. If you have access to a rooftop terrace, why not take full advantage of this valuable resource? Install a small container garden!
TIPS FOR GROWING ON A ROOFTOP:
Only grow on roofs that you are authorized to access. There are factors like insurance and liability that must be taken into consideration. A rooftop terrace would be mostly flat. It would also have a railing or parapet along the edge. If you have a situation like this, then do waste this great opportunity!
Different rooftops are designed to bear different amounts of load. Using containers, rather than massive planters can reduce the volume of soil required and the total load placed on that roof. Keep your containers relatively light, using a light-weight potting mix to fill them. Some SIP tutorials will showcase designs that use gravel in the reservoir. This is unnecessary and it makes the containers excessively heavy. Avoid such designs.
Winds on a roof can get strong. For free-standing, unsupported planters, select a container that is not top heavy. Look for a wider base that is not quite as tall. Grow plants that have a lower center of gravity. For taller plants, be sure to properly secure and fasten down their supports.
#UrbanGardening #RooftopGardens #ContainerGardening
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Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic, and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining all Australian gardeners around the nation. Hosted by Costa Georgiadis and presented by other Australia’s leading horticultural experts, Gardening Australia is a valuable resource to all gardeners.
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There are many types of community gardens including: neighborhood gardens, allotment gardens, communal gardens, children’s gardens, and gardens that provide vocational training. Each type has benefits and concerns which should be considered before starting a community garden. Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at:
In 2018 Community Farm Ranger Tilak Chhetri interviewed community gardeners on the benefits of sharing in the multicultural Community Farm.
The Juneau Community Garden is located in Juneau, Alaska is a non-profit group of gardeners helping to provide a site for individuals to pursue their gardening hobbies in a productive and cooperative environment. The garden is fenced, with water and basic tools available and there is a covered storage and meeting area.
Every autumn the garden hosts a garden fair, which has become increasingly popular with local residents. Several other activities are scheduled throughout the growing season which occurs between May and September. The garden works with other local groups such as the Master Gardeners, the Juneau Garden Club, and the Primrose Society and our local UAF Cooperative Extension Service representative.
Plots are available for a small fee and a few public service hours. There are also plots for:
• Charity – produce goes to the local food bank, the local homeless shelter, etc.
• Experimental Use – master gardeners recently conducted a multi-year test of iris and rhubarb varieties.
• Ornamental Plantings.
Compost for the edible landscape garden
The project is up and running. From landfill we have rescued 150 cubic metres of organic waste per year, which has produced 70 cubic metres of good compost and composted mulch to use on the communal edible gardens.
We need our own tools now!
Since the pre-initial phase (August 2016) EdibleScapes have been supported by Nerang Riverkeeper Bushcare group, in the very tangible way of sharing tools and storage space.
Now, it is urgent we get our own essential tools – principally a nursery trolley, mulch forks, tubs, and mesh – to form the composting heaps. We also need to cover fuel costs when collecting veggie and fruit scraps from local fruit & vegetable shops, Farmers markets and coffee grounds from coffee shops.
Community Composting Demonstration Site
Your support will help with our actual gardening and composting tasks and will allow us to further the design of a community composting demonstration site.
After a year learning the composting craft, we are in the process of conceiving a community composting model that transfers technology of rapid hot composting methods into bin bays. Our method will comply with composting regulations as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The goal is to become a demonstration composting site for community education programs.
You can join us
EdibleScapes are proud to develop the Edible Landscape Gardens, producing compost to amend and augment garden soil in order to produce high-quality social food.
$800 AUD, for essential tools will enable us to further our collection of materials for composting, as well as our planting and harvesting efforts.
If you can, DONATE WHAT YOU CAN!
We are happy to swap composted soil for your donation, or if you prefer, we could plant a fruit tree in your name in recognition of your contribution.
And here’s some organic perks for supporting us
With thanks to your generosity the essential tools we receive will help us to make organic compost, which will be used to grow edibles. We are happy to swap compost for your contribution or develop an edible garden area or grow fruits tree in your name.
By sponsoring/adopt a fruit tree today, you can bring nature and fresh fruit into the heart of a community for generations to come.
One For One: For each dollar you donate we can give you one litre of compost (pickup from Ediblescapes site).
If you donate over $50 we can deliver organic compost to your place or maybe you wish to sponsor the garden of your preferred community organisation. Delivery in the Gold Coast area only, sorry!
Sponsor garden area / Adopt a Tree / Tree gift
Would you like to adopt or sponsor a fruit tree or give it as a gift for birthdays, Christmas etc, or as a memorial for a family member or loved one in our edible landscape garden?
Adopting a tree is a fun and easy way to help Ediblescapes gardening and composting, help the environment and makes a unique and long-lasting gift.
Learn about community helpers for kids and community jobs for Preschool & Kindergarten! Teach kids about jobs in English and community helpers in English to give your child or student a broader perspective about the community and world around them. Our preschool learning videos and kindergarten learning videos are fun, interactive, and fun! We hope you enjoy learning about community helpers for kids and community jobs in English with us!
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Kaye shares Green Meadows Preserve Community Garden in Marietta, Georgia, and loads of info from veggie expert Denise Kovacs and project chair Carol Hanak. Download a FREE ebook at
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Nancy Loo from WGN News recently covered a feature on Shawna’s behind-the-fence community garden which has been under a garden controversy. Shawna has been labeled a “Guerrilla Gardener” and faced persecution from the city of Warrenville, Illinois. Below is the full written story transcript. Coverage of this story was fully by WGN – this video story was reposted with full permission.
Nancy Loo, Reporter / Pam Grimes, Producer / Mike D’Angelo, Photojournalist / Steve Scheuer, Photojournalist WGN News
May 15, 2012
Gardening season is in full swing. But a particular garden in west suburban Warrenville has become a battleground. And as Nancy Loo reports in tonight’s Cover story, similar situations have likely taken root in your community.
“It does grow quite tall it grows almost four feet high and the city’s asking me to change that and take that down. So I’ll have to dig up about 75% of the garden.” That means extra work for Shawna Coronado in the gardens outside her Warrenville home. There’s no mistaking the love and attention paid by this gardening author and blogger. And the beauty stretches from the front yard to her backyard. In fact, even beyond her backyard fence in a strip of land Shawna can’t even see from her home. “And these primulas are very special. A woman gave them to me, they were her grandmother’s.” It is quite attractive. And many neighbors appreciate it. “So you come by several times a week? Oh that makes me feel so good!”
However, this is not Shawna’s property. It belongs to the city of Warrenville. And as is the case for many homeowners, the area around her mailbox is also on what’s known as right of way property. Shawna thought both gardens were in easements, areas in which many municipalities will generally allow for some plantings without a permit. Warrenville’s Community Development Director Ron Mentzer explains. “But if somebody wants to do something extensive on our property on the city right of way, that’s when we require them to submit, apply for and obtain a landscape license and covenant agreement approval from the city of Warrenville.”
The city acknowledges the attractiveness of Shawna’s work on public property. But who’s on the hook if such areas become overgrown or if the homeowner moves away? Shawna agreed to a 35-dollar permit fee and 40-dollar county processing fee to avoid a daily fine of 75-dollars. However, both sides are still going back and forth on Shawna’s vision for the space and what the city will allow. Plantings cannot be too tall, and the boulders can pose a hazard to people on the bike path. “Occasionally you’ll see a weed. But mostly it’s just a lot of love.” Shawna admits she’s an accidental guerrilla gardener. Her situation is small potatoes in a bigger movement known as guerrilla gardening. “I think guerrilla gardening at its best can be civil disobedience.” Ben Helphand is the Executive Director of NeighborSpace, which works *with* the city of Chicago to develop and cultivate community gardens.
Despite those efforts, guerrilla gardens are everywhere. Helphand says what amounts to “graffiti with plants” can succeed in highlighting the need for more green spaces. But it can often be problematic. “People are scared that if somebody plants a guerrilla garden that they’re not gonna come back and take care of it and pretty soon it’s gonna be overgrown.” That is not the case out in Warrenville where Shawna wonders why more residents with mailbox gardens or plants on right of ways aren’t also paying fees. Former Warrenville Alderman George Safford says the battle is unfortunate since both sides want what’s best for the community. “I hope it doesn’t stay a thorn because Shawna is just too good a positive influence. I don’t want to see her bruised in any way either. It’s in all our interest that everybody get along.” Warrenville’s Ron Mentzer now stresses that when in doubt, ask before you plant.
“I think if you were gonna start gardening on your neighbor’s property would you ask them for permission to do that or would you just go do it?” “I do agree with following the rules,” says Shawna. “And I don’t have a problem with that. However, I don’t think that people who are trying to improve the community by beautifying it, should be fined.” Shawna believes Warrenville should do away with the fees and fines since residents like her are spending their own money and time to beautify public property. She even donates fresh produce to the local food pantry. But the city argues that enforcement is merely part of responsible government. And critics of guerrilla gardening worry about people planting on toxic sites. Nancy Loo, WGN News.”
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Community Gardens are places where people come together to grow food and community. This workshop, conducted in October 2013, features some Western Australian Community Gardens, how they came into being, and some of the problems and positives encountered along the way.
When starting a community garden, you should plan a budget. One of the major costs may be providing water for the garden, and preparing the site initially. There are also one-time costs such as writing by-laws and building infrastructure. And, there are ongoing costs for maintenance and water bills. Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at:
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It’s finally here! Holy smokes!
Thank you everyone who sent me a demo submission for this awesome montage! I received over 238 clips, and I made sure to look through every single one of them! So many of these market gardener kills were just fantastic, and I had the hardest time deciding which ones to use for the video. Hopefully you won’t be too disappointed if you don’t happen to make it in this one. Maybe we’ll have another one in the future! Who knows?
Also… I’m exhausted! I spent the past 2 weeks doing nonstop recording and editing. It seems my computer doesn’t handle 1080p very well. Perhaps I’ll learn not to go overboard next time, hehe.
Anyways, thank you all again! I really enjoyed making this video, and hopefully you can all enjoy watching it!
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