Washington County Community Gardens

Subtitle

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMUNITY GARDEN Q&A

This program gives gardeners the opportunity, to grow nutritious foods, to relax, to observe and learn about planting techniques, and to meet other gardeners.

How big are the plots?

Plots are approximately 15’ X 20’.  If you can’t use that much space, feel free to share a plot with a friend.  Gardeners who share a plot must each fill out an application, though fees may be submitted with one check.

How much does it cost?

For 2012 the rental fees are:  1/2 plot = $12.50; 1 plot = $25.00; 1 1/2 plots = $37.50;

2 plots = $45.00.   If you have never gardened before, we highly recommend that you rent only one plot or share with another gardener.  The only gardeners who may have more than one plot are those who have been with the program for five or more years.

What do I get when I sign up?

  • A plot for your use during the season.
  • Access to a water tank.  This water is not safe for drinking, but is fine for your plants.
  • Frequent emails with gardening information.
  • A supportive environment for learning about gardening

What do I need to bring to the garden site?

·        All garden tools, seeds, plants, and soil amendments

·        Containers to carry water from the tank to your plot. 

What about plot and garden maintenance?

·         Each renter is asked to volunteer two or three hours over the season to help with maintenance.  Work days are at your convenience for jobs such as pulling weeds, picking rocks, spreading mulch in the common areas, and fall clean-up. An email will let you know what needs to be done. Record your hours and tasks in the back of the spiral notebook which is stored in the mailbox.

·          Your plot and the adjoining pathways must be kept tidy and weed free all season.  If the plot and/or pathway become an eyesore, you will be contacted twice by phone or email and if the situation is not fixed, the plot will be mowed or given to a person on the waiting list.

·         Vines and tall plants must remain within the boundaries of your plot.

·         Corner plot stakes must be left in place all season, year-round.  You may add more stakes between the markers if you wish.

·         Plastic fencing is not allowed.

·         Mulch must be degradable and ecologically friendly.  You will receive one bale of marsh hay per plot at the beginning of the season.  If you choose to use newspaper or cardboard for mulch, it must be anchored completely and/or covered with a layer of soil. You will be contacted and expected to clean up your papers if they blow into other plots.

·         The garden site does not have garbage pick-up or a compost bin, though you may have a compost bin at your plot.   Please take all of your trash with you when you leave for the day.

Garden Security

·         If you ride a bike or similar two-wheeled vehicle to the gardens, please park within the confines of the garden rather than on the sidewalk. 

·         You may keep your tools at your plot if you wish, realizing that you are the only one responsible for lost or stolen items. 

·         You will receive a “dashboard pass” to use with your vehicle.  This pass will identify you as a legitimate user of the gardens.  The West Bend Police Department checks for these passes as they patrol the neighborhood. If you see people at the garden who do not appear to be one of the “regulars”, please take down vehicle and license plate information at get it to me ASAP.  It is also a good idea to “chat” with garden visitors. 

·         The season opens in May, closes at the end of October, and the gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

How do we communicate?

·         A list of gardener’s names, plot numbers, email addresses and phone numbers will be put together so that you can readily contact someone if you are going to be gone and need to have someone check your plot. If you do not want this information shared, please note it on the registration form.  This will be shared as an attachment with WCCG members only and will not be on a website.

·         Throughout the season, notices will be placed on the bulletin board.

How do I contact someone with a question or problem?

The “staffers” for this project are all volunteers with the Ozaukee County Master Gardeners.  If you have a question, the best way to reach someone is by email:  [email protected].  You can also call the Extension Office at 335-4479 between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. and leave your name and number and someone will get back to you.

 

PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES AND CHEMICAL USE

AT THE W.C.C.G.

 

The WCCG is not an “organic” garden per se, but it is a “natural” garden where the use of chemicals is strictly regulated.

Pesticides, whether made from natural or synthetic materials, are poisonous chemicals which kill or repel pests.  They are a threat to plants, insects and animals beyond the target pest.   If you apply pesticides at your plot in an effort to eliminate a pest, the substance may drift to neighboring plots where an un-knowing gardener could harvest and eat chemically contaminated crops.

In addition to keeping humans safe, we need bees for crop pollination and “good” bugs to eat up the “bad’ ones! 

We encourage you to try something else first:  

·         Control weeds by hand or hoe

·         Know that some insect damage will not harm your crop yield

·         Hand pick bugs

·         Use tin foil collars around plant base of vines

·         Use floating row cover

·         Plant pest-resistant varieties of vegetables if you so choose

If all else fails and you purchase a pesticide, read the back of the container for:

·         The target pest

·         The crop for which the pesticide is intended

·         Directions for application

·         The number of days/hours after application when it safe to harvest

 

As a general rule, the following are acceptable for use at our gardens:

·         Insecticidal soaps and sprays labeled as approved for organic gardens

·         Hot pepper wax sprays

·         Botanical and microbial insecticides such as BT (bacillus thuringiensis)

 

Make sure that you use the substance exactly as directed.  More is not better!  As the garden season goes on, you will receive e-mail updates with suggested antidotes to whatever is “bugging” us at the moment.  If you are unsure about a particular product, send an email or check the bulletin board.

 

The following substances may not be used at the gardens:

            Dusts in any form, whether “natural” or not, with the exception of diomataceous earth.

            Herbicides (anything which kills vegetation such as Roundup, Weed-B-Gone etc.)