Share and Share Alike: 5 Great Plants to Grow in Your Community Garden

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So you don’t have a front or backyard and you live in an apartment building surrounded by concrete. You can have an herb garden in your place, and maybe grow some mint and basil to cook with, but what if you’re a die-heard gardener and you need to grow some tomatoes and lettuce and purple irises? You mosey over to the nearest community garden and get yourself a plot, that’s what you do! That way you can have your own little piece of dirt heaven to garden to your heart’s content. You might want to be careful about planting certain things like juicy tomatoes though – there is vandalism in community gardens and someone who’s hungry might see your bright red tomatoes on the vine and hop the fence. Sad but true. There are a few things you can plant that will keep the vandals away and also give you a garden you can really love. Here are five ideas:

5 Mint

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This herb is easy to grow and has a ton of uses. Make mojitos, put them in tea or on top of a rack of lamb to make your plate look pretty. They will grow out of control if you don’t take care of them though. They also smell amazing, obviously! It likes partial shade and a fair amount of water – easy! It’s also a good idea to start these from seed.

4 Blackberry Bush

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Like the roses, you can line your garden plot with wild blackberry bushes. You can get amazing fruit, make pies, and keep out thieves. The bushes are thorny and grow like crazy so you will have to take good care of them so they don’t overrun the rest of your plot or anyone else’s. Plant them in early spring in most areas and cultivate them shallowly. Be sure to watch out for pests too – blackberry bushes tend to attract them if you’re not careful.

3 Thorny Roses

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Just in case a thief is well versed in white eggplant and purple cauliflower, you might want to try planting thorny roses around the edge of your plot to keep people out. It looks pretty and creates a barrier for your plants, which might discourage people from trying to climb in and nab your tomatoes or strawberries. For a different look you could try succulents like cacti, and then mix in some roses. The world is your community garden plot!

2 White Eggplant

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Like purple cauliflower, this one throws vandals off and keeps them from pinching your veggies. How many people have even heard of white eggplant? It kind of looks like an egg with a green stem – pretty bizarre, I know, but delicious nonetheless! There are two varieties called Casper and Easter Egg, which seem appropriately titled. They grow in warm seasons and grow best in slightly acidic, rich soil with compost.

1 Purple Cauliflower

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It is suggested that purple cauliflower is a great vegetable for a community garden because we always think of cauliflower as white, so the purple color throws people off – kind of like a disguise. It needs about one inch of water per week and monthly feedings with some compost help, too. Check for pests occasionally but don’t disturb them too much – purple varieties also do not require blanching, so there’s one less step!

Have you had experience with any of these plants? What’s your favorite thing to plant in a community garden? Let us know!

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