Apartment living often means having to forgo your dreams of a produce garden, but not at the Village at Commonwealth, where community gardens allow residents to enjoy the fruits of their labors all summer and fall. If you are going to take advantage of the community gardens, make sure you practice good gardening etiquette so the gardens are an asset to everyone.
Here are some tips to keep in mind…
1) Know Your Spot
Know where your plot is, and make sure that you stick within the confines of your area. That means not taking produce from someone else’s plot unless you have been given direct permission. It may be possible that your gardening neighbor doesn’t mind sharing, but only take what you are offered. If you really want those cucumbers, plant some of your own next year.
2) Keep Things Clean
Keep your plot clean and weed-free. Weeds that grow in your plot will spread to your neighbors’ plots, so be vigilant to keep them pulled. Also, if you are using pest control measures or fertilizers in your own garden, keep them confined to your area. If keeping up with the weeds becomes too much for you, be willing to give up your plot to someone else who is interested.
3) Keep Things Quiet
It’s fun to listen to music while you garden, but remember that others are going to be sharing the space. Use Bluetooth headphones or earbuds to listen to your favorite playlist, so others can enjoy their own music or peace and quiet while they garden.
4) Watch Where You Walk
When walking to your plot, make sure you do not step directly on the plots of your neighbors. There should be a clear path to take between the plots. You never know what is starting to grow that you might damage.
5) Share the Bounty
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of shouting your harvest from the rooftops. If you did just harvest several pounds of your favorite veggie, a better way to “boast” about your harvest is to offer to share some with your neighbors. They will be impressed and thankful for your generosity!
6) Watch for Shadows
Some produce plants, like corn and tomatoes, are quite tall. If you are planning to grow one of these, consider where the shadow will fall. Make sure you’re not blocking the sun from your neighbor’s plot where their berries are trying to ripen. You may be able to plant in a different pattern that will cast the shadow elsewhere.
A community garden is a true asset to your neighborhood. Take care of it and build positive relationships with your neighbors by being attentive to these etiquette tips.