How to set up an edible garden in an area near you

Edible gardens

The Castle Park veg bed (edible garden) has been successful and it's given people the chance to harvest food from a park.

We want to see more people using our parks, open spaces, housing estates and other areas to grow food for the community, and we welcome proposals from any group of people.

Where you can set up an edible garden

We can only give you permission to create an edible garden on council land. Please call us to check.

If the land you would like to plant on is privately owned, you will need to get the owner's permission. We can still advise you on what to plant .

Contact us

Discuss the possibilities in more detail, please call 0117 922 3719, Monday to Friday, 9am until 4pm or email allotments@bristol.gov.uk

What you might consider about your edible garden

  • Suitability of the area:
    • Near a path or play area is good, so people will admire or pick the vegetables
    • Heavily used dog walking areas area should be avoided
    • Formal historic parks are less likely to be accepted. There may still be ‘forgotten’ areas that would benefit from planting though
  • Underground services that may prevent deep planting or digging: This may restrict what you can do, although raised beds and no dig beds may be possible.
  • Type of soil: Most fruit and vegetables will not succeed in poor soil or deep shade. The soil may need to be tested for contamination (we can assist you with this)
  • Funding:
    • Neighbourhood Partnerships may be able to help
    • Local businesses might sponsor you in return for some publicity
    • The Tree Pips project works with schools to plant trees, so an orchard may be a possibility
    • Maintenance of the area: Who will look after the plants? Is there water available to water them? This will have an impact on how big an area you use, and what you plant.
  • Harvesting the produce: It is important that you make the public aware if they are allowed to pick the produce.
  • Type of plants. Generally salads, courgettes, fruit, herbs, chard, kale, beans, beetroot and carrots are more suitable than potatoes, onions, cabbages and Brussels sprouts, which take up a lot of room and are prone to pests and diseases. Orchards and edible hedgerows may also be a good idea.