Start Gardening Your Plot

P-Patch gardener steps to growing

Step 1: Officially join a p-patch.

Once staff have offered you a plot or gardening in a collective garden you will be given a person to contact at the site you will be participating at, you should make arrangements for a tour of the site. To learn more about how assignments happen refer to How to Sign Up.

Step 2: Submit annual application to the P-Patch program with fee.

Gardener will need to renew participation every year, submission is done across the whole city at the same time and is NOT prorated from the date you are officially asked to participate.
Co-Gardeners are allowed. However, they can only become the primary plot holder if they have been co-gardening long enough to be assigned a plot from the interest list. (See How to Sign Up to learn more about the interest list.)

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the rule and code of conduct requirements.

By submitting an application you agree to all program requirements.

Step 4: Start Gardening.

You are required to start gardening within two weeks of being offered a plot or offer to join a collective garden. You can grow any vegetables, small fruits, flowers or herbs you choose, but you should refer to the P-Patch Invasive Plant Guidelines before planting. Just remember if something grows fast and spreads you are required to contain it. No trees or shrubs are allowed plus check the garden you are in, some have some additional plot restrictions that have become invasive in that garden.

Step 5: Maintain the garden all year.

You are responsible for maintaining the garden all year long. Active gardening must reflect seasonality (i.e. winterization and fall clean up, spring weeding and planting, summer maintenance, ongoing harvesting, etc.)
Fall and Winter Gardening options: Please remove all non-organic material (tomato cages, trellises, etc.) and choose one or a combination of these options to help with weed suppression and protect your soil from the winter rains. Tending the soil in the cool season pays you back in the warmer one.

Cover bare soil.

  • Option #1: Grow winter crops such as garlic, onions, kale, etc.
  • Option #2: Plant cover crops, cover crops are also called green manure because in the spring you dig them into the soil to feed nitrogen and organic matter.
  • Option #3: Mulch/Sheet compost to protect and build bare soil

Step 6: Share the harvest.

P-Patch encourages sharing what you grow with family, friends, neighbors and those in need. Most P-Patches have organized giving to provide fresh produce for those in need. Check in with a specific garden to see what they are giving and how. Remember the sale of what you grow is not allowed and only permitted through the P-Patch Market Garden Program.

Step 7: Change contact information or leave the garden.

Address & Status changes: If you move, please give us your address and phone number. Call 684-0264, 24-hour voice mail, or email P-Patch.don@seattle.gov.
If you find that you cannot use your plot, please notify the office as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate another gardener. A Plot holder cannot give garden space to others.