Growing food in a community garden plot is a very unique style of gardening with great benefits (check out my article about it) and some tough challenges that home gardeners don’t experience. The far distance from your house which often limits how frequently you can visit your garden, and the difficulty of managing your garden from afar.
If you’re not careful, these challenges can make community garden plots feel more like a burden than a joy.
But, don’t worry! A lot of the hardship can be avoided if you pick the right vegetables for growing in a community garden.
I’ve grown food at several different gardens here in Norway (zone 8b) over a 5 year period, and had a home garden at the same time during many of those years.
Here is what you should grow at your community garden!
Once this herb gets going, it will continue to produce until the first frost. And it’s super fun to grow because there are so many different and interesting varieties. remember to pinch the first leaves to make your basil grow big!
Beets are one of the vegetables I didn’t care for until I started growing them in my own garden. You can plant them for a late spring or a fall harvest so they are perfect for cold weather!
While you don’t want to let your cabbage languish alone in your garden for weeks, if you’re out of town for a few days when it’s ready to harvest this patient plant will wait for you to return. Remember to cover them from the start with a net! if one little pets come in, you are going to struggle and loose a lot of time to kill them!
GARLIC and ONIONS
If you like to cook from scratch, it’s likely you use a lot of garlic and onions. Me, too! Garlic or onion are one of the easiest vegetables to grow if you’re a cold-weather gardener. Go bananas and grow as many as you need!
kale is definitely a low maintenance vegetable! You can plant it early in spring and it will produce plenty of kale leaves for the entire season.
Leeks are a long season vegetable, which means they will take about 110 days from planting until harvest. That’s a long time but, they don’t take up a lot of room and there’s not much you need to do to take care of them apart from weeding and watering with some bokashi .They will be ready for harvest in the fall, just in time for potato leek soup.
Some of the herbs like thyme and oregano are perennial in many locations, which means they’ll come back again year after year. This might not be allowed in a community garden setting, so annual herbs like parsley are a smart choice.
PEPPERS, SWEET OR HOT
I always feel rich when I have a basket full of ripe, red peppers. Sweet peppers can be expensive to buy at the grocery store, so they’re definitely one of the vegetables that give you the most bang for your buck.
In general, growing potatoes is pretty easy in most climates. And, you can grow fun colors.
Chard is similar to kale in that you plant it in spring and it keeps producing leaves all season long. You simply cut some off with a knife when you’re ready to cook with it and the plant will get back to the work of growing new leaves to replace them.
Rainbow chard adds some pretty pops of color to complement the various shades of green in your garden.
TOMATOES AND CUCUMBERS
Tomatoes and cucumbers might be the most popular vegetables to grow in community garden plots around the country! And there are literally thousands of varieties to choose from! Better to grow them in a green house if you have one for a longest harvest.