(Provided by: University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources)
It’s important to establish some ground rules for your garden. Work with your planning committee to write down the answers to these questions:
- Are there conditions for membership (residence, dues, agreement with rules)?
- How will plots be assigned (by family size, by residency, by need, by group—i.e., youth, elderly, etc.)?
- How large should plots be (or should there be several sizes based on family size or other factors)?
- How should plots be laid out?
- Do you want the garden to be organic?
- If the group charges dues, how will the money be used? What services, if any, will be provided to gardeners in return?
- Will the group do certain things cooperatively (such as turning soil in the spring, planting cover crops, or composting)?
- When someone leaves a plot, how will the next tenant be chosen?
- How will the group deal with possible vandalism?
- Will there be a children’s plot? If so, will it be free for parents who already have a plot?
- Will the gardeners meet regularly? If so, how often and for what purposes?
- Will gardeners share tools, hoses, and other such items?
- How will minimum maintenance (especially weeding) be handled both inside plots and in common areas (such as along fences, in flower beds, and in sitting areas)?
- Will there be set rules which gardeners are expected to uphold? If so, how will they be enforced?
- Should your group incorporate and consider buying your garden site?