New York City

Community Gardening: A NYC Experience

By Seth Fera-Schanes

This article is part of an ongoing series about a community garden plot I am working on this season.

Space comes at a premium in New York; we all know this to be true.  Large outdoor park spaces such as Van Cortlandt, Central, Prospect, Latourette and Kissena are weekend havens for the millions of residents who live across the five boroughs.

In addition to public parks, there are community gardens interspersed in neighborhoods around the city.  These gardens will generally have time scheduled for the general public but they also contain planter boxes for individual use.

It is worth looking up where to find the gardens in your own area and review the application process.  Many have long waiting lists but you should investigate further and putting your name down.

I was fortunate to get a garden space this year and wanted to document what goes into planting and maintaining a garden right in New York.New York City Garden

Seeds and starter plants:

There are a number of gardening stores across the city and finding seeds isn’t difficult.  If you prefer to have starter plants, beginning in April the farmer’s markets across the city will have these available.  I usually go to the market in Union Square to get my plants.

What to plant:

My advice would be to ask your garden neighbors to see what they have planted in the past and what has been successful.  Tomatoes, most herbs, lettuces, kales, collards and beans all seem to do well.  I would also suggest planting what you want to eat (nothing new there.)

My garden space is 4 feet x 4 feet.  I choose to plant the following: tomatoes, chives, 1 strawberry plant, basil, cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, butter lettuce, chamomile and a few other mixed greens.

I will continue to cover the garden as it grows, develops and with any successes, recipes that are made with the produce.

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