Community gardens are a blessing for us urban dwellers. It allows us to grow our own as well as engage with our fellow, passionate gardeners.
As welcoming as they are, community gardens do have rules. Whether these are unspoken or not, there’s an etiquette in being part of one. From what you grow to what you use, the ethical community gardener knows how to respect others.
If it’s your first time joining one, then you’re in luck. Here are the commandments of community gardening.
Watch your feet
The moment you enter a community garden, you must be very careful. Try your best not to step on anything. They might not be visible now but there could be germinating seeds or bulbs underneath your feet.
There are a lot of vine plants like squash or cucumber that tend to stray away and into walking paths. So it’s best to train them to go back to your plot as regularly as you can.
Use the right materials
Even if your community garden isn’t blunt about using non-organic materials, it’s best to consider not using them at all. Remember that you are gardening with everyone else in a communal space. Using chemical fertilizers or pest control is bound to affect everyone around you.
It’s best to stick with natural and organic materials. You can always learn more about it from experts or your fellow community gardeners.
Only pick your own
This has got to be one, if not the most important commandment of community gardening. Despite how tempting those cherry tomatoes of your neighbor looks, you should resist the urge of picking them. Be courteous enough not to touch your neighbors’ crops.
Always ask for permission first. If you want both of you to benefit, you can always suggest a swap.
There’s no shame in being proud of just how many peas your crop is producing, or just how plump your tomatoes are getting. However, understand that there could be others who are having a not-so-good harvest time.
A little humility goes a long way in a community garden. You can always share your bountiful harvest and turn things around for the unlucky few.
Be mindful of your shading
Unless you want to be everyone’s most hated community gardener, be considerate of the shadow you cast. Bushy tomatoes and corns can end up shading out those berries your neighbor is growing.
Be mindful of the kind of plants you choose, the direction of the sun as well as the possible height your plants can reach. This way, everyone’s getting the amount of sunlight they need.
Watch your pets and kids
Keep your pets and kids at bay when visiting your community garden. It can be irresistible for them to pick out some fruits or start trampling other people’s crops.
If your dog decides to leave some waste behind, be sure to clean it up right away. Not everyone might appreciate the unwarranted deposit in the soil.
You’ll never know what you can learn from others. So we highly encourage you to more sociable with your fellow gardeners. Who knows? You might bring home a few more fruits and vegetables!