Washington School Neighbors Community Gardens
Community gardens offer the space, tools, and community support for neighbors to grow their own food. WSN provides several garden plots at our gathering space at the corner of West 10th and Maple. There are many opportunities to participate in this project and neighbor involvement is vital. If you would like to learn more about ways that you can be involved in developing the garden space, please email WSN’s director at: [email protected].
If you are interested in a plot at this garden space, you may contact the WSN board (use the contact form on this website) to express your interest. Those who have been assigned a garden space are then responsible for amending the soil, planting whatever (well, it needs to be legal) it is they want to grow, watering, weeding, harvesting and cleaning up the space in the fall. Important note, please respect other folks’ plots and only take food from the plot you are growing in. You will have access to the shared tool shed at the garden, and a water source for watering your garden. To defray some of the costs of maintaining the garden equipment and raised beds, there is a suggested donation of $20 which you can make out to Washington School Neighbors, 77 West 11th Street, Holland, MI 49423 by May 1st of the given year (see here for more details on making donations).
What you sow into the gardens you will reap. Gardeners are encouraged to support one another, sharing knowledge and building community. We understand people join the community garden for a number of great reasons, such as being able to eat the freshest green beans, teaching young children the joys of gardening, or growing flowers that can be cut and given to loved ones. Whatever reason compels you, we simply ask you maintain your leased space and demonstrate respect and care for this communal property.
- Add some compost to your bed at the beginning of the season. Fertilizers can be helpful too but finished compost (it can be bought in bags for convenience) is the easiest way to start your garden on the right foot. You can over fertilize but you can’t over compost.
- These crops can be put directly in the garden as seeds: radishes, carrots, greens, beets, beans, and peas. You’ll want to wait till around May 1st for most of these, but you can keep seeding these all the way into early August.
- These crops do better when purchased and transplanted into your garden as young plants: tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash, cucumbers. Anytime between May 20 and June 15 is good for these transplants to go into your garden. Too early and the frost will get them, too late and they won’t mature in time for a good yield.
- Water the plants a whole lot in the beginning and then regularly throughout the summer. By regularly, think of an inch of water per week. Using a hose with a wand you’ll want to take about 10-15 minutes drenching your soil. It’s good to poke your finger in and make sure the soil is wet all the way down.
- Stay on top of the weeds. Weeds are competing with your plants for nutrients. Get rid of the competition.
- Visit your plot a couple times a week to harvest the crops when they are perfectly ripe.