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At the Warren G. Magnuson Park
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Being a Considerate Community Gardener
Working a small patch of earth that has been worked year after year by loving hands renews my spirit.I feel the care that the soil has received as I plant my seeds, and it gives me hope that people will learn to treat each other with the same kind of love we bestow on our gardens. — Picardo Farm P-Patcher
The following is an overview of responsibilities and rules for gardeners. It is provided for clarification; it is not our desire that anyone be put in the position of being “garden police.” If a gardener is ignoring the rule, and that becomes a problem, please talk to the site coordinator or P-Patch staff to assist in finding a positive resolution.
Use common courtesy. Plan your garden so each area can be planted, weeded and watered from inside your own plot. Each gardener rents their parcel of land.For the most part, we should not be walking in our neighbors’ gardens without their permission. Sometimes at the beginning of the season neighbors might agree to equally share part of their garden to make a common perimeter path between the two. If you are interested, a good opportunity to talk with your neighboring gardeners is at the Gardener Gathering in the spring. : The community tools we all share are in the tool shed. Watering cans, sticks, reemay, etc. in someone else’s garden is their property and should not be used without their permission.
Stay inside your designated area as staked out. Allow adequate space for invasive, vining and spreading crops and keep them confined to your own plot. Please do not allow plants to encroach into or overhang the paths and adjacent plots. In short season plots, comfrey and jerusalem artichokes are not allowed.
Garden organically. The P-Patch
Program is an organic gardening program. Because “organic” means different
things to different people, for P-Patch purposes there are a few hard and
fast rules that help define organic gardening. Basically, the rules are that
herbicides and insecticides made from synthetic materials are not allowed. Chemical
fertilizers are not allowed. Complete organic fertilizer is made available
for your plot. Dig it into the rows before planting, or mix with
soil under transplants. Slug bait is permitted only when used in enclosed
containers, which must be removed from the site after use.
There are a few organic insecticides permitted in P-Patches, such as insecticidal soap and rotenone. These are powerful products, and some have undesirable effects. The word “organic” often implies that something is in some way pure or harmless, but this is not always the case. Take great care to read about organic products before applying them, and be sure to follow manufacturers’ instructions. There are methods to deal with or prevent insect problems. For more information, consult your site master gardener, the site coordinator or P-Patch staff. Be sure to keep all of these substances out of children’s reach.
Maintain paths adjacent to your plot. Garden pathways need to be kept clear of obstacles, safe, level and tidy for safety. Do not dig into the paths. Keep them rock free and wide for walking. Do not block paths while working in your plot. Keep your own access paths fully within your own plot unless you agree with your neighbor to share a path. In short season areas, please do not use wood chips to mulch paths as they rob nitrogen from the soil as they decompose. There are many ways to keep paths clear. Some people prefer to scuffle hoe when weeds are young; some like to mow or weed whack paths. If you need more information, please consult your block leader, site coordinator or P-Patch staff.
Allow your neighbors their fair share of sun. Plan your garden so that for most of the day your neighbor’s plot will receive its fair dose of sunshine. You may need to place tall plants like corn, sunflowers, pole beans, etc. in the southwest part of your plot. Look for shorter varieties: there are many that produce as well as tall varieties. If you plant tall varieties, stake them well and plant in the center of your own plot.
Water responsibly. Though we are a “community garden,” gardeners are responsible for maintaining and watering their own plots. Please treat hoses carefully and return them when finished. When moving hoses, please make sure you do not damage others’ plants or drag them through others’ plots unless you have their agreement. Be careful to restrict watering to your own plot, as your neighbor may wish to work the soil or be planning to plant seeds. Remember that water is a precious and expensive commodity. Water service is off between 11/1 and 3/15 to prevent freeze damage.
Secure the tool boxes and shed and help maintain tools: The tool shed should remain locked at all times to prevent theft. After locking, be sure to move the numbers to make sure that the lock is truly secure. Always return tools to storage, and clean them first! Be sure to lock the storage!
Produce may not be sold, but sharing produce is encouraged. If you wish to share your produce, please pick and give it away yourself. Don’t invite non P-Patch memebers to come and pick when you are not at the garden. Misunderstandings can occur about plot boundaries and where picking is allowed. Magnuson has a Food Bank donation station where you can contribute surplus produce that will be delivered to an area food bank. Please consider sharing with your neighbors in need. An annual Day of Giving is held each year. All P-Patchers are invited to contribute produce for donation. SeeFreemont Public Association Lettuce Link Program
If you go out of town, have someone maintain your garden. It is your responsibility to find someone to water, harvest and weed, if needed, when you are out of town. If you have a friend assisting, be sure they are familiar with your plot boundaries. Also, it’s a good idea to introduce your “garden sitters” to your fellow gardeners.
Don’t smoke in the garden. Research shows tobacco can transmit a virus to tomatoes.
If you bring a radio to the garden, keep the volume low. Using headphones is a good way to preserve your neighbors’ peace and quiet.
Take home your garden waste. There is no garbage pickup at the gardens. Allso, do your part to help maintain the site by picking up litter. PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT.
Keep your dog on a leash, within the boundary of your plot. Well-mannered dogs are allowed (except at Good Shepherd and Capital Hill), unless complaints are received. Please also scoop the poop.
Resolve differences in a neighborly way.
Neighborly relations are important to the spirit of community gardening. If
you have difficulty dealing with another gardener, please remain polite,
pleasant and listen carefully. Usually solutions can be reached easily. If
more serious difficulties arise, contact P-Patch staff to assist with negotiating
Closely supervise your children. The P-Patch provides a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about gardening and be part of a special community. Please share these rules with your children. Encourage and model respectful behavior toward neighbors and their garden plots.
You must provide at least 8 hours of communal time. All site maintenance is performed by you and your fellow gardeners. Every garden member must share in the maintenance of the overall site. To distribute maintenance and improvement tasks fairly, each gardener must contribute 8 hours during the season to the P-Patch Program. Keep track of your own time by signing in the books provided in the tool boxs. Time must be completed by November 1 of each gardening season.
Don’t neglect your plot. You must begin working your plot within 2 weeks after the season officially begins or after the date you are assigned it. Any plot that remains untended (overgrown weeds, unharvested produce) for more than two weeks will be reassigned. Your plot fee will not be refunded. Remember, we belong to a community garden. What we do can have an effect on each other, our neighborhood and our city.
Adapted from Orginal 2001 edition
|Magnuson Community Garden - 6344 N.E. 74th
St., Suite 104 - Seattle, WA 98115