Does your neighbor have more sun and tomatoes that make your mouth water? Do you grow so much zucchini each summer you give it away? Are there innovative ways to combine efforts to get the most out of nearby gardens? Collaborating with others in your neighborhood allows for a shared experience, plus shared seeds and starts.

Plan your space

Start by working with others in your neighborhood to identify planting areas you could share. Perhaps you have a large yard or a neighbor has a sunny spot across the street that could be shared garden space.

Choose your plants

Talk to your neighbors about what each of you wants to grow this season. Consider the amount of sun each space gets when you decide where to plant. Local garden stores and nurseries have handy planting and harvesting calendars to help you plan. You can learn more from vendors who sell vegetable starts at farmers markets, too.

Create a schedule

Many hands mean light work. Sharing the tasks that make your garden successful also helps build community. This includes making time to water, weed and harvest. Create a schedule so participating neighbors and families, including kids, can plan time to help.

As an added bonus, your group can more easily take vacations, attend sporting events or go on that impromptu camping trip and have peace of mind that others will care for the garden while you are away.

Share your bounty

Have more produce than you and your neighbors can handle? You can donate extra vegetables to food pantries, or consider planting a row so you can donate fresh veggies all season.

Now enjoy your shared bounty and the feeling of community that growing your own food provides.

Have gardening questions?

Contact Master Gardeners – they offer expert advice on all aspects of growing and caring for plants.