This summer can be your opportunity for you to develop a green thumb. Here are some resources for you to create or expand your garden!
1. Obtaining free seeds is possible (and easy).
One way to obtain free seeds is through the Home Horticulture program at CCE Tompkins, where they have a Free Seed Cabinet available to the public. You can visit the seed cabinet once a month, and you can take up to 10 seed packets per household each time you visit. They receive many seed donations, including organic ones, from numerous organizations, and include flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Find the seed cabinet at the Cooperative Extension office at 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca.
2. You don’t need your own land to start a garden.
Tompkins County has many community gardens that allow you to rent a plot. These gardens charge a fee for a plot, and most also provide tools, water, compost, and mulch. There are many locations as well! Check out a list of community gardens here.
3. Get a head start with plant starts and seedlings from local nurseries.
There are a variety of locally-owned garden centers and nurseries in Tompkins County that can give you high-quality plants that are already acclimated to our region. Find out more here.
4. If you need any help gardening, there is a helpline available.
The Growline is a service available to anyone who lives in Tompkins County, and it allows you to ask your questions on plant health, flowers, vegetables, and more! Trained Master Gardener Growline volunteers are there to answer your questions with one single call. You can call 607-272-2292 between 9:30am and 3:30pm, or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Still have more questions? There are many more resources right at your fingertips.
The Get Your GreenBack website has additional information on growing your own food, with resources on how you can start a garden, and information on what kinds of vegetables you can grow and when to plant them. For even more information, you can visit the CCE Tompkins website, where you can learn everything from composting to pollinators.
Article by Intern Sarah Huang