Gardens in the city

No backyard? No problem. Community gardens offer city dwellers an opportunity to cultivate a gardening hobby.

Credit: Ali Kenefick

Community gardens offer city dwellers with no backyards the opportunity to garden and to build friendships with their neighbours. These small garden plots are great for new gardeners and for
those who have downsized from a larger garden.

Size dictates that these spaces are intensively cultivated, but the systems that promote healthy backyards apply equally to these spaces. Some practices to consider include:

Crop rotation: Various vegetable groups use different nutrients in the soil and rotating crops will help maintain a balanced level. This also helps avoid a buildup of diseases and pests.

Healthy soil: Compost and mulch are essential to keep soil healthy. Adding worm casts (vermicompost), which contain inorganic nutrients several times that of topsoil, can greatly increase your soil’s productivity.

Companion planting:
Plant combinations support the concept of biodiversity and naturally overcome problems with pests. For example, growing basil beside tomatoes repels aphids.