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myriad sunflowers grow in a field as the sun sets in the distance

Sowing seeds, Community Gardens-style

By Mindy Hanak, Gardens Program Coordinator
UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Recently, I visited one of our Sarasota County community gardens and was delighted to see a garden member, Rachel, enjoying her garden space with her young daughter. I was delighted to see their shared joy, of course, but also because it reminded me of helping them solve a problem.

a young girl in a light-yellow sun dress and wearing a straw hat walks through a community garden

A young girl walks through a community garden. [CREDIT: Image supplied]

When I met Rachel last fall, she shared photos of her home patio, flush as it was with happy, healthy plants. But, she also shared her frustration that she was being told she could not keep them there. She was fast becoming a gardener with nowhere to garden.

So, I told her about our community gardens. I had to tell her that many of her patio plants would not be suitable for a community garden plot, where people namely grow vegetables or herbs. But, I invited her to join our gardening community. And, she was game to try something new.

Her green thumb didn’t disappoint her. She easily transitioned to growing vegetables. Even better,  she brings her daughter to enjoy the sunshine, learn about plants, and sowing seeds. I think Rachel is sowing more than just vegetables when she shares her love of gardening with her daughter, don’t you?

If you’ve recently been bitten by the gardening bug and are looking for tips about creating a veggie garden, consider attending our “Creating Your Edible Garden” webinar, 10:30-11:30 a.m. April 28. Learn more and register at

There are also a number of other ways to get gardening:

  • We also have a range of other gardening-related events, including classes on collards, soil workshops, our “Ask an Agent Anything” series, and much more. Visit to find something that fits your tastes and schedule.
  • If you aren’t able to grow veggies at home, consider our community gardens.:
  • For seed tips, check out “Seeding The Garden” by James M. Stephens:
  • Learn about “seed saving,” the practice of harvesting and preserving non-invasive plants that are going to seed:
  • Seed catalogs can share lots of information and growing tips. Remember, to double-check the season for FL before you plant. This link “Seed Sources for Florida Homegrown Vegetables” offers an easy checklist where you can look for the crop you want to plant and see which seed companies likely offer that crop.

Sow seeds of knowledge with your loved ones with fun seed activities: and

2 Comments on “Sowing seeds, Community Gardens-style

  1. Beautiful I love it thank you so much for this great read!

  2. Adorable. Love that you guys are encourage the young generation to appreciate the green world around us.