Community Gardens

For a really useful link on starting or joining a community garden, see the Toronto Community Garden (TCGN) site:

For community food gardens, see:


The best time to plant is in spring or autumn.  For a small space, plant a small tree if possible, e.g. redbud*, serviceberry*, nannyberry, dogwood*, some fruit trees (pear, apple, cherry, plum, peach, nectarine, chokecherry*, paw paw).  Trees with an * have attractive flowers.

Tree planting & watering:

  • Choose a site away from overhead wires,  at least 2 metres from hard surfaces (i.e. driveways and patios).
  • To amend soil, mix triple mix or compost into the top 12 inches of soil over as large an area as possible.
  • Dig a hole at least 2 times as wide and the same depth as the tree’s root ball or pot that the tree came in.
  • Loosen the soil at the sides of the hole,  but do not loosen/tear the trees roots.
  • Position the tree 4-6 cm above grade.  Do not bury the base of the tree as this can cause the tree to rot.
  • Water the tree immediately after planting, letting the water be absorbed slowly into the soil.
  • Mulch the tree around the base of the tree to a depth of 8-10 cm thick (not touching the tree).  This will help to retain moisture & will minimize weeds/competition with the tree for nutrients.
  • Give the tree 2-3 bucketsful of water every few days making sure that the soil does not dry out between watering.  The soil should always feel slightly moist.
  • For the first 2 years, in particular, make sure that the tree is well watered. During periods without rain, water the tree by running the hose at a slow trickle for 15-20 minutes twice a week.  Do not overwater.
  • Avoid digging near the roots of trees.

Free mulch:  free woodchips are available from the City of Toronto in Scarborough at 70 Nashdene Road (west of Markham Road, north of Finch Avenue East) Monday to Sunday during daylight hours ( for more info, call 416-338-8733).

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