Cottonwood Community Garden filling up fast for new season

Last year’s parsley still grows in the Cottonwood Community Garden on Monday. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Last year’s parsley still grows in the Cottonwood Community Garden on Monday. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Spring has sprung and the Cottonwood Community Garden is filling up fast.

Cottonwood City Clerk Marianne Jimenez said she still has 12 of the 50 plots available for people to grow their own vegetables. And you don’t have to be a city resident.

“Most of the gardeners from last year renewed for this year,” she said Monday, adding that they have had a good residency rate the past couple of years.

The concept of the garden is for families to grow their own food, explained Jimenez, who is a master gardener herself.

The garden has also become an area for social interaction and the exchange of gardening information, she said.

“There is a little community there,” she said. “They also swap vegetables and share with each other.”

Gardeners grow a wide range of vegetables, Jimenez said. They grow spinach, broccolii, radishes, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, carrots, onions, garlic, watermelons, pumpkins, squash, green beans, sunflowers, asparagus, peppers and many other vegetables.

Jimenez said many gardeners are new to the area. There is a learning curve growing in the arid, high desert, she pointed out.

She gives them the University of Arizona Extension Service’s Master Gardener information for gardening in the local area and the gardeners share information on what works and what does not work here. “They have a good success,” she said.

The water for the garden is provided by the city, pumped from the Cottonwood Ditch and is run through a filter before it heads out to the garden, Jimenez said,

The fee to lease a 16 x 16-foot garden plot is $40 (along with $2 for a key), with a $50 refundable clean-up deposit, according to the city’s website, There is no additional charge for water. Gardening tools are provided

A meeting will be held later this month to discuss any projects for the garden this year. Bedrock Landscaping Materials and Home Depot have sponsored garden projects in the past, she said.

The Cottonwood Community Garden has been designated as an organic garden, according to its website and any fertilizers, soil amendments, pest, weed, and disease control products used in the garden must be listed under the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) products list.

Garden participants are required to volunteer at least two hours a month in the community garden to help weed and maintain the common and unused areas of the garden.

For further information, contact Jimenez at mjimenez@cottonwoodaz.gov or call 928-340-2727.

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