For the second year, Havelock will be offering plots to local residents in the Splinterville Community Garden at the Walter B. Jones Park.
So far, 11 gardeners have signed up, with 32 plots still available.
"Last year it went really well. Overall the response was pretty good," said Diane Miller, the city’s information officer, who had two of the plots herself. "I had an extremely productive garden last year. I fed everybody in this building with vegetables last year. The dirt is really good."
Gardeners grew a variety of vegetables including squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, cantaloupe, herbs, pumpkins, gourds, beans, eggplant and peas. As fall came, they turned to collards, broccoli, kale and potatoes. Some just grew flowers.
"We encouraged people to plant marigolds at the edge of their plots because it attracted bees and encouraged pollination," Miller said.
Last year, rain was so frequent that weeds became a problem, Miller said, but this year, the gardeners will be allowed to use herbicides and pesticides on their own plots as opposed to last year.
Another thing that is new this year is the city got a $2,000 grant to erect a small shed at the garden so people don’t have to bring their hoses and other tools each time they come to tend their plots. The shed will be locked with gardeners receiving a key. The shed is currently being designed and will be erected soon.
"This is a good opportunity for people who would otherwise not be able to garden," Miller said.
Many of the participants are military and live in apartments or other situations where either there is no land or no sunlight. The community garden gives them an opportunity to see if they have a green thumb, Miller said. Many of last year’s plot tenders were families who used the garden as a fun experience for the children.
"A lot of last year’s gardeners learned what worked and what didn’t," Miller said.
There are 10- by 10-foot plots available for $20 for the year and 10 by 20-foot plots available for $30. Gardeners are asked to sign a basic agreement to participate, and rules are available online at the city’s website at www.havelocknc.us. For more details, call 444-6400.