Best Practices

We offer the following information about best practices in and guidelines for organic gardening and community gardening at WCG and more generally. If you have suggestions for additional material, please contact us.

We think this site offers solid information about composting. Feel free to send us others. Did you know that the Cincinnati Municipal Code section on community gardens allows us to compost only material generated onsite? So, sorry, we can’t take your kitchen scraps.

We grow a wide selection of herbs in front of the fence along Talbott Avenue. Our current gardeners are welcome to pick herbs. Here’s a list of the herbs we grow and uses of them.

Dave Stockton, a Cincinnati lettuce-and-other-greens expert, gave a workshop at the Gardens on April 7, 2012. He demonstrated how to plant a raised lettuce bed and gave us great tips on planting and on seeds. Here are some Greens Workshop with Dave Stockton.

National Organizations
The American Community Gardening Association offers a wealth of information and inspiration. Colorado offers us this coordinated effort to share resources and information.

Organic Gardening Tips
Here are the earliest and latest planting dates in the open in Cincinnati. And here are those earliest and latest planting dates, by date, with the dates to start them indoors.
We offer a lovely, diverse selection of herbs along the fence on Talbott Ave. Our current gardeners may take herbs for personal use. This WCG herb border guide explains what we grow there.
All of these sites on organic gardening are useful:
Organic gardening … everything from growing herbs and vegetables to garden photography
TLC’s organic gardening tips
Whole Living’s organic gardening tips

Pests and Pest Control
WCG gardeners do a pretty good job keeping pests in check. That said, we have had some unwelcome visitors and we offer guidance on how to control them. All gardeners know there are good bugs and bad bugs. To deal with the bad bugs that eat or destroy our plants, some of us recommend these products and approaches. However, we offer these suggestions with a major caveat: It’s up to you to figure out what’s eating your plants. You can asked more seasoned gardeners or you can search the web or get a book out of the library on gardening and common pests. We can’t tell you what’s eating your plants without looking at the damage or the pest. This list and its detail is incomplete. Feel free to send us more information to add here.

Plant a Row for the Hungry
You can plant a row for the hungry at the Westwood Community Gardens if you’ve got a plot! The Garden Writers Association started an initiative back in 1995 called Plant A Row to encourage people to plant a row of produce in their gardens to then donate to an organization that helps people who experience hunger. That’s 1 in 8 Americans. Second Harvest and other organizations also promote this initiative. Our Plant a Row organizer coordinates deliveries of excess produce to My Neighbors’ Place, a local food bank. Many of us tend to have a little more of something than we can use and some of us would be happy to plant a row. Email the Gardens Coordinator or email about this initiative and reference the Westwood Community Gardens in your subject line.

Urban Farming
We would be happy to add more information here about urban farming and homesteading.
Here’s one to start with: Count Your Chickens [article listing and describing good urban farming and homesteading books and DVDs — check your local library]

Winter Cover Crops
We plant winter cover crops to make “green manure”. This simple method of planting after the rest of our plants die off gives our soil extra organic matter and nutrients that will improve our soil and make our crops more productive the following year. In year one, we used peas. In year two, we used winter rye. And the past two falls, we’ve used a seed mix that includes peas, flax, oats, millet, radish, and more.