Seed catalogs have begun to appear in mailboxes all over the county, and gardeners' thoughts already are turning toward spring. Some of those gardeners, however, don't have their own sunny spot of ground in which to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers, so they are working in Community Gardens.
There are waiting lists for a lot of those community gardens, indicating a demand for the development of more such gardens. UGA has created several publications to help new community gardens get started.
How to start a community garden: Getting people involved emphasizes the importance of having a group of people involved from the outset, of making a solid plan, of site selection, and agreement on the garden's rules.
Siting a garden explains the importance of adequate light, access to water, and other aspects of selecting an appropriate garden spot.
Raised bed vs. in-ground gardens presents the pros and cons of two primary garden styles.
Raised garden bed dimensions provides information about lumber, depth, overall length and width, and other choices that will need to be made for those who choose to garden in raised beds.
Garden sheds tells about why a community garden might want to provide a shed and about useful features for such a shed.
Stocking the toolshed: Handtools lists and describes useful tools that a garden might want to keep on site.
Garden fencing lays out the different problems that might be resolved through fencing (e.g.: deer) and the type of fencing needed to resolve the problems.
Sources of water for the garden explains alternate sources of water along with pros and cons of each.
Irrigation tells about the different types of irrigation systems, including hand-watering, drip irrigation, and the multiple kinds of overhead irrigation.
Growing fruits includes a plant selection chart that lists some of the easier-to-care-for fruits that would appropriate for a community garden.
Weed control focuses on mulch as a deterrent for weeds.
A new Community Garden Advisory Council has formed here in Cobb County with the goal of helping new and existing community gardens meet their individual goals -- from expansion, to finding funding, to maintaining enthusiasm, and more. The first meeting was held this past October, and the next meeting likely will be in early February of 2014. Anyone interested can call this office, UGA Extension Cobb County, 770-528-4070, for additional information.