How To Start

Once you have established the type of garden you’re interested in and have drafted a set of goals and objectives, it’s time to transform your ideas into actions! The following strategies from the University of Missouri Extension outline a step-by-step plan to help start-up your community garden. Click here to read a detailed summary of these steps to success and obtain additional information.

Steps to Success

Once you have established the type of garden you’re interested in and have drafted a set of goals and objectives, it’s time to transform your ideas into actions! The following strategies from the University of Missouri Extension outline a step-by-step plan to help start-up your community garden. Click here to read a detailed summary of these steps to success and obtain additional information.

STEP 1) Get community members involved. Talk with friends, neighbors and local organizations about your idea to get them involved. Spread the word about your interest to recruit a solid group of interested participants.

STEP 2) Organize a community meeting. For all those interested, meet to discuss the project, choose an organized garden coordinator, and form task committees. The purpose is to brainstorm, delegate responsibilities, and determine how to move forward. 

STEP 3) Find a garden site. Explore your community, tour different neighborhoods, and look for available areas of land that may be suitable for your garden. 

STEP 4) Identify local resources. Your garden is going to require a variety of supplies, tools, and equipment. Obtain on-going access to the materials and support needed to keep up with garden growth. Consider contacting existing community gardens to see if they have any helpful advice to offer.

STEP 5) Hold additional group meetings. Re-group and summarize what has been accomplished so far. Allow committees to present their current activities and report on any areas of concern. The goal is to remain focused, organized, and productive in order to move forward. ​

STEP 6) Contact land owner. Compose a letter to the landlord that outlines obligations. Prepare to establish a term for use of the site and negotiate all aspects of the lease. Consider purchasing liability insurance and be prepared to compose a “hold harmless” document.

STEP 7) Develop a garden plan. Determine how simple or complex the lay-out is going to be. Create a site analysis that focuses on boundaries, bed sizes, shrubbery, pathways, compost bins, tool sheds, signs, and furniture placement.

STEP 8) Create gardener guidelines. Establish rules that all gardeners and volunteers must follow when working at your site.  Create a gardener application to collect contact information. 

STEP 9) Build your garden. Now you are ready to prepare and develop your garden site! Every garden design is different. How you and your team decide to develop your garden will depend on all the preparation work you have done thus far.  ​

STEP 10) Celebrate success! Congratulate yourself and the team’s accomplishment! Reach out to the community to show what you have created. Keep your garden sustainable and enjoy what you’ve created!