FORT GORDON, Ga. (Feb. 9, 2017) -- What does it take to make a garden grow? Ask Kathleen Duncan - she will tell you how to make a garden grow.

Duncan, a recreation specialist with Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, is preparing Fort Gordon's Community Garden for a bountiful season of fruits and vegetables. The garden originally broke ground last year, making this its second season.

The new season opens March 1 and runs through Dec. 21. There are 132 plots, and each measures 9 feet by 9 feet.

"We are blessed with two growing seasons, so you have to figure out what you want to grow for the first part of the season, and then what you're going to grow in July, because some of the stuff will be coming out, and you'll have more room for planting," Duncan explained.

The garden will operate like it did last year with members having access 24/7. Gardeners are provided a gate code to enter. Entry includes use of onsite amenities including water, a shed filled with gardening tools, and gravel walkways for vehicle access if needed. Plans are underway for a compost site, which once complete, will enhance the gardening experience tremendously.

"It's part of having an organic garden," Duncan said. "I want us to be as self-sustaining as possible."

New this year is Duncan's level of expertise and soon-to-be credentials. She is currently enrolled in the Master Gardener program in Georgia.

It's a volunteer training program designed to help University of Georgia Cooperative Extension staff transfer research-based information about gardening-related topics to the public by training home gardeners. The course covers a variety of topics including chemical makeup of soils, botany, insects, fertilizers, patio gardens, and turf grass. Upon completion, she will be a UGA Master Gardener.

"What is awesome about it is the expertise and information I can access to answer gardening questions for gardeners here on post," Duncan said.

In the meantime, the community is welcome to contact Duncan directly with questions or concerns, and she will do her best to assist. There is also a Garden Club that meets every Thursday of the month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Woodworth Consolidated Library. Each week features a different topic. The first meeting of the year will be Feb. 16 and the topic is "Plan Your Spring Garden -- Garden Notebooks." Everyone from beginner to master gardener is welcome to attend. Participants do not need to have a garden plot to participate.

The garden is located at Brainard Avenue and 44th Street, across from Freedom Park School. Plots are available now for $40 and open to the public. Purchases can be made online at community-garden. For more information, call (706) 791-9483.

Upcoming Fort Gordon Community Garden Club meetings:
-Feb. 16: Plan Your Spring Garden -- Garden Notebooks
-March 16: Setting Seedlings -- Start Early
-April 20: Good Dirt = Good Beginnings -- Seed Share
-May 18: Battle Garden Disease and Insects the Organic Way
-June 15: Freezing, Canning and Drying Recipe Exchange
-July 20: Plan Your Fall Plantings Garden Notebook and Seed Share