published Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Five Tips for starting a community garden

Teen volunteers work in a Bushtown community garden that was supported by a health department grant.
Staff File Photo
Teen volunteers work in a Bushtown community garden that was supported by a health department grant. Staff File Photo

Doug Peoples is starting a community garden. He's got the land. He's got the equipment. He's got the know-how. The only thing he doesn't have is gardeners, he said.

"If anyone is interested in growing their own vegetables, I've got the space for them to do it," Peoples said.

The garden space is in the Hixson area, but Peoples said he welcomes anyone from any nearby community who is interested in gardening.

Peoples got his green thumb from his late grandmother who, he said, "could stick something in the ground and it would grow."

The more people involved in a community garden, the more productive it will be, he said.

"New gardeners can learn from the older and wiser people with green thumbs. Working together in harmony will result in a bountiful harvest of delicious healthy sources of nutrition. Gardening can also bolster our understanding of the human condition, sort of like therapy."

For more information about the proposed community garden, call 320-3944.


1. Acquaint yourself with other gardeners participating in the community garden. It's important to have a harmonious atmosphere since you'll be working alongside others.

2. Know the boundaries of your garden spot so you will know what vegetables to plant and how much you can plant. It could turn out to be disappointing if your crops invade another gardener's space.

3. If you have individual spaces, consider fencing in your space. It keeps your crop within your space and helps keep out unwanted critters.

4. Have a viable plan to help shoulder the responsibility of the labor.

5. The website suggests setting up a gardening organization, complete with bylaws. Such an organization would establish guidelines and rules and offer resources for gathering horticultural information.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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