You don't have to own a home with a big yard in order to garden. From containers on windowsills and balconies to plots in community gardens, there are plenty of options for getting your hands dirty.
If your landlord is open to letting you garden, then dig right in. But keep the lines of communication open — keep your landlord informed about what you're up to, and invite him or her to come by from time to time to see what the place looks like.
Tips for small-scale gardening:
- Start a container garden. Growing plants in pots is a great option for renters and people who have balconies, sunny windowsills, or other small areas for gardening. See the Bay-Friendly Gardening Guide [link] for tips on getting your container garden going and keeping it healthy and beautiful.
- Sign up for a plot at a community garden. To find one close to you, do an online search or call your town’s Parks and Recreation Department.
- Help care for a school garden. Many schools have or would like to start a garden, and are likely to welcome help. Put out feelers at the school nearest your home, or talk to teachers you know.
- Join a community stewardship group. There are at least 20 creek groups in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and each one of them offers opportunities to pull weeds, grow seeds and plant plants. And many parks have “Friends” groups that would welcome your involvement.