With the return of sunny days, and if you love nature, it is likely that an idea will start to run through your head: that of gardening!! Unfortunately in France, a third of households would not have access to a garden. However, we have good news if you are in this case: solutions exist to allow you to grow your own vegetables despite everything!!
Rental of allotment gardens
The first of these solutions is not necessarily the best known. And yet it can allow you to obtain a small plot of privatized garden for rent at a very reasonable price for the year. This is the rental of so-called "workers" gardens: generally between 200 and 400m² they are ideal for setting up a vegetable garden allowing your family to eat healthy and seasonal vegetables, while enjoying the sunny days in the open air.
Indeed, in more than 600 municipalities in France, this device is put in place, and plots of land formerly fallow or unused are rehabilitated into small enclosed gardens. Their rental is subject to conditions that vary depending on the municipality. This may include, among other things:
- Income conditions
- Access facilities for large families or the elderly
- The obligation to cultivate a certain proportion of the total area of the garden
- The ban on reselling the production
Each municipality also chooses the installations that may sometimes have been made there. It can be the installation:
- From a garden shed
- From a water collector
- From a composting solution
The price is generally around 50 to 70 euros per year at most. Unfortunately in some municipalities, these small plots, victims of their own success, are taken by storm. It is therefore possible that the waiting list to obtain one is quite long. If this is the case in your municipality, or if it does not offer the rental of privatized gardens, it is possible that one of our next two solutions is better suited to your situation.
The shared gardens
Here again, this is a solution that can be implemented by your municipality, but also sometimes by associations in your sector. A plot of land is then made available to a group of people for the purpose of:
- To give them a chance to garden
- But also to create social ties
- And allow them to exchange seeds and advice
To find a shared garden near you, you can:
- Contact your town hall, the green spaces department may be able to provide you with information.
- Consult google map, some shared gardens are listed there
- Ask for information on facebook groups in your city, it is likely that someone can answer you
- Finally, if you live in Paris, a list of shared gardens is available directly on Wikipedia
The following video explains in more detail how shared and family gardens work!
Cultivated balconies and terraces
Finally, if you have a balcony or a terrace it is possible, as we mentioned, to make a vegetable garden on balcony to create a small vegetable garden. Indeed, many plants and vegetables can be grown in small spaces. This is for example the case:
- Aromatic plants: parsley, basil, chives, coriander, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Potatoes: they can be grown in tubs, deep pots, or directly in a bag of potting soil
- Certain fruit shrubs, as well as strawberries
- Salad and spinach
- And even certain vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, peas, radishes etc.
There are also solutions for superimposing the plantations in order to make the most of the space by creating small hanging gardens.
Here is an example of growing tomatoes vertically, this growing method is also suitable for several other vegetables:
Now that we've seen the different ways to find a small spot to garden, chances are you're in a rush to get to work. So let's see together what can be done in the vegetable garden at the end of February to the beginning of March.
First comes storage. Equipped with warm clothes, this is indeed the ideal period for:
- Sort, list, clean and store your tools. Buy any equipment you may need for the season.
- Clean your water tanks, remove dead leaves that may have accumulated there during the winter, etc.
- Pick up and compost plant debris from the previous season that may still be in place.
- Repair and/or repaint fences, garden sheds, greenhouses, trellises, planters
Between two stages of storage, you can still plant some varieties that resist the cold well. These include:
- Lamb's lettuce
- Garlic, the video below gives some advice for its culture
- Some onions
It is also possible in March to carry out a spring pruning. So if you haven't done it in the fall, it's time to prune your roses.
Finally, it's also time to plan what you plan to plant during this new season. To buy or order your seeds. And, for those really itchy, to sow some indoor vegetables. Indeed, radishes, spinach, aromatic herbs among others, can quite grow inside your house as long as you choose pots of a suitable interior size and install them on the edge of the window!
As can be seen in the photos below, the first seeds (of radishes here) should germinate very quickly.