Community seedbeds

Seeds are the most important part of the life cycle of plants. Without seeds we would not have plants;   growing plants from seeds can be the best way of  preserving varieties of plants, flowers and vegetables that are not regularly sold.

Growing plants together with other gardeners encourages socialization and the exchange about sustainability and common projects, as well as  facilitates the transfer of knowledge and the inclusion of different people.

Objectives

To share among the gardeners a common space for growing plants from their seeds.

To learn how to implement an entire cycle of growing plants.

To preserve species of plants that are not regularly sold.

To develop a sense of socialization among the gardeners using one space of the garden.

To involve senior people in the activity of the garden, as well as school and children.

Materials

There are different ways and materials you can use for creating a shared nursery in your garden:

  • A sunny space, big enough for containing seedbeds (you could create a row for each gardener).
  • A support structure, made by wood or plastic bottles!
  • Plexiglas or polycarbonate, big enough for covering the area.
  • Container for the seedbeds, you can also use recycled materials, such as egg boxes or plastic bowls, little pots, etc…any container can be good.
  • Good soil for sowing.
  • A calendar for organizing the use of the nursery.

Implementation

At first, ask the gardeners who would be interested in using the shared nursery - the number of gardeners interested will help you to decide how big the nursery will be.

Build the support structure with timber. It should be high enough to stand in (with the possibility to work inside, more people of different ages can use it).

Cover the structure with the plexiglas or plycarbonate, leave the entrance open, you can build a door with transparent materials and create windows on the walls and on the roof of the nursery for the ventilation.

The best position for the nursery is south - east.

Organize a meeting with the interested gardeners and plan the usage of the seedbeds.

Make a list of which seeds you have and with the help of a sowing calendar, decide all together which seeds you want to plant and when. It’s possible to plan in advance when to sow, and which species, and to organize the work in a shared way among the gardeners involved.

Once you have decided who, what and when, start to sow!

 

Evaluation

The joint work between the gardeners develops greater integration within the group.

The management of the process from seeds and not from purchased plants helps to better understand what sustainable development means in nature.

The use of different seeds can also facilitate the exchange between different generations, if for example an older person gives some ancient seeds or plants typical of the area.

Joint management requires the active participation of gardeners.

The complete management cycle of the plant (seed - plant - fruit - seed preserved - new plant - etc.) allows you to experiment and verify all stages of professional management of a vegetable garden.

Tips

There are many ways to build a community nursery. From a structure already present to a nursery completely built by recycled materials.

The nursery can be a “house” or a big container not very high, it’s up to you, to your imagination and to your needs, to choose the type of nursery.