Garden / May 2, 2018 / .
No south-facing window, balcony or yard? Consider a community garden, it is a great way to grow food while strengthening relationships with neighbours. If there is not already a community garden in your neighbourhood, might there be a vacant lot on which to start one? One thing is for sure, learning how to grow vegetables with others in your community while sharing information and resources will do more than put food on the table. Collective gardening or even just sharing gardening space will help to build and strengthen relationships within your community.
Vegetable gardening used to be the poor relation of ornamental flower gardens. Perennial borders reigned and large, messy, vegetable gardens were hidden in the back yard, usually the domain of the man of the house. Vegetable gardens were about producing food, not beauty. Now that vegetables have taken a more prominent place on the table, they are gaining more respect in the gardening world. And with the increased interest from home gardeners, there has been a surge in the development of new varieties: colorful novelty vegetables, heirlooms, ethnic varieties and compact growers.
You do not need a large area to have a vegetable garden. You do need good soil, plenty of sunshine, a water source and probably a fence. If you think the deer love your Hostas, the entire woodland community is going to enjoy your vegetable garden. If you plant it, they will come. If you have a small sunny spot in your yard, or even on your patio, you can grow vegetables.
If you do not want to opt for drip irrigation, try and site your vegetable garden near a water spigot. You will be more likely to water if you do not have to drag the hose out. This final consideration is essential. Vegetables need a soil rich in organic matter. Soil is important to the growth of all plants, but more so with vegetables, because even taste is affected by the quality of the soil. That is part of why wine from the same grape variety can vary from region to region and why some areas grow hotter peppers than others.