City of Larkspur Community Garden Rules and Regulations
Rules We All Agree To, Below
1. Assignments of plots: a. Garden plots are assigned by the Recreation Department. All new gardeners must show proof of Larkspur Residency. b. Plots are limited to one per household. c. The person named on the garden lease is to be the same person who attends garden workdays or performs an alternative task and who is the main gardener of the plot. Garden helpers may not replace nor act as surrogates for this responsibility. d. A waiting list for Garden Plots is kept at the Recreation Department. As plots become available, assignments are made in the order in which they appear on the waiting list. Each January, the Recreation Department calls the applicants on the Wait List to assign vacant plots for the upcoming calendar year. e. Transfer of a plot assignment, by a gardener, is not permitted. All garden transfers must be handled by the Recreation Department. f. Renewal letters will be sent out in November of each year and applications will be due on the date specified on the application. 2. Residency requirement adopted by the City Council 11/20/96: Gardeners who move from Larkspur and move beyond Corte Madera, the unincorporated parts of Greenbrae or Kentfield, must relinquish their plot to the next renewal season.
3. Maintenance of Plots: a. All plots must be maintained in a manner acceptable to the Garden Coordinators and the Recreation Department. Each gardener is a steward of the land and is responsible for the maintenance of the garden plot to which they have been assigned. Maintenance includes soil care, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and any additional garden upkeep. All aisles immediately surrounding your plot are considered part of your garden responsibility and must be kept free of weeds, trash, and all obstacles. Do not plant any plants nor put up any devices, fencing or support structures in any common areas (any area outside your own garden plot). b. If your garden plot remains undeveloped or unattended for 30 days or more, you will be notified by one of the Garden Coordinators. A garden reminder may be given if a plot is excessively weedy or is filled with debris or overripe produce. Failure to care for your plot will result in termination of your lease. c. This is an organic garden, period. Toxic chemical pesticides or herbicides are not allowed. The Garden Coordinators can give you advice on organic methods for controlling insect pests or organic fertilizers. Only organic fertilizers, mulch and compost may be used. Natural compost is produced onsite and available to all. d. Use designated areas for compost and debris. All weeds and unwanted plants need to be placed in the parking lot green cans. Any trash or non plant items from your plot and aisles need to be placed in the parking lot dumpster ONLY. Please do not leave anything in the tool shed or compost area. e. Gardeners may establish their own layout of beds and paths within the dimensions of their assigned garden plots. All fencing or support structures must be installed on either the east or west end of your garden (north placement causes shade for your neighbor). Any such structures must stand independently, completely within the plot, and may not shade other plots. All structures and supports must be made of easily removable materials. Nothing may be nailed into or attached to the wooden border. All plans for drip and soaker systems need to be reviewed by a Garden Coordinator prior to installation. All drip and soaker systems must be disconnected from October through March. This will help to avoid freezing problems during the winter. f. "Be considerate of your neighbors." All gardeners must keep plants etc... in their own plots. Don't let your plants or weeds creep into the aisles or into your neighbor's plot. Larger plants such as corn or sunflowers need to be planted at the center of your plot so they do not shade your neighbor’s plants. If an adjacent plot's gardener complains of excessive shading by anything on your plot, you must come to an agreement to move or remove it. g. Crops need to be harvested once they are mature. If you do not feel you will use all your harvest, please donate to our Food Bank. h. Except with permission, do not enter or pick from others' plots even if you think the plot has been neglected. Harvest only from your assigned plot. Taking food or damaging others’ plots will be grounds for forfeiture of your plot. Complaints should be brought to the attention of the Garden Coordinators for review and action. i. Plant Restrictions: Do not plant mint, raspberries, Jerusalem Artichoke, horseradish or Oenothera (Mexican and Pink Evening Primrose). These are very invasive and vigorous, hard to remove and get out of control fast. Gardeners may plant them in containers if the roots don't escape. (We ask that these containers be placed on a barrier, eg. a stepping stone, to prevent contact with soil.) Under no circumstances is Stinging Nettle to be planted. This is a very invasive species which is able to spread by growing rhizomes underground and by wind-dispersed seeds. It also causes skin rash irritation when touched. No trees or large growing vines are to be planted in any garden plot. This includes kiwi, grape, hop, passion-flower and other such vines. These trees and vines become permanent after a short time, shading your neighbor’s garden and growing over garden borders. Anyone found growing drug-producing plants, not only will forfeit their garden plot, but will also be subject to prosecution. Periodic inspections will be made of all garden plots to determine if such plants are being grown. j. Upon termination of your lease: When leaving, all gardeners are expected to completely clean their plot of everything, all weeds, all plants, stepping stones, tomato cages, wood, debris, etc... You may either accomplish this yourself or pay someone to complete it before you leave. Please do not leave anything in the tool shed. 4. Gardeners are expected to attend our March and October Community Workday Gatherings each year. If, on rare occasions, (e.g. due to work or emergency) a gardener misses a Workday, an alternative task will be assigned and must be completed before the Workday. Alternative tasks assigned after the Workday must be completed upon the date set by the Garden Coordinator. This ensures that the alternative task will benefit the Garden as a whole. Before the Workday Gathering, gardeners have the responsibility to weed their aisles and to prepare their own garden plot for Spring start-up planting and again for Winter season clean-up. a. In order to prevent any widespread tomato disease within our Community Garden, and for the good of the entire garden, it is necessary for all gardeners to harvest and remove all tomato plants from their gardens prior to the Fall Workday gathering. The tomato plants must be disposed of in the parking lot dumpster and not in the Compost. On occasion, gardeners may be asked to participate in special projects if/when the need arises. 5. Children must be supervised by an adult. 6. No pets in the garden. 7. The garden area is open from dawn until one hour after sundown, seven days a week. The front gate has a keypad that everyone can access easily. The front gate will close automatically for your security. Other gates must be closed manually. Ensure that all gates are locked when leaving the garden. The combination is our secret. Everyone who helps you with your garden watering etc... needs to understand this too. If vandalism or theft occurs, immediately contact one of the Garden Coordinators. Discourage losses by becoming familiar with the other plot holders Gardeners. You are the eyes and ears of our garden security. Please be aware. 8. No smoking in the garden.
COMPOST AREA Gardeners are encouraged to add their garden and home cuttings and fruit and vegetable waste to the designated compost area. Follow the compost rules for acceptable materials and the posted signs for how and where to place the materials on any given day. Composting 101
Absolutely no weeds nor tomatoes in the compost.
Weeds are the gift that keeps giving. If you put them in the compost, their seeds sprout next year when you use the compost in your plot.
Tomatoes can carry diseases back to your next year's crop.
No roses or rose stems. Thorns hurt.
RULE OF THUMB: When a bin is full it should be turned into the large bin to its left. This is on-going. If you can't turn due to back problems you can still help by watering all the bins to help keep them moist , (like a wrung out sponge), so that the composting process continues. How to Help Our Compost. by Paul DaSilva Our compost system is very much like our digestive systems. The major difference is that our compost lives inside the wooden bins numbered #1 to #4, instead of our stomach and intestines. The big similarity is that in both cases, micro-organisms do important work. It is really important to keep them healthy and happy so that they can break down what goes in the front end, and so that the right stuff comes out the back end. This means that first of all, they need the right food. Then they need sufficient amounts of water and air. They also need to be kept warm. Finally, things need to move along at a steady rate. It is to keep the microbes happy that we do the main compost tasks: 1. We add the right food. This is generally half green and half brown material. The green material is fresh vegetable scraps or green prunings. The brown is wood chips or dry leaves. We leave out animal products, oils and fats to avoid attracting rodents and other pests. We leave out weeds to keep them from being spread through the compost. We leave out most “recyclable” plastics as well. (Although there are some high-temperature compost systems that can break down these things, ours cannot.) One problem we have had in our compost is too much brown material. This causes the decomposition process to slow down or stop, making our compost “constipated.” We only need to put a thin layer of wood chips on the wet kitchen scraps most likely to attract flies. Green leaves and plant trimmings need not be covered. Just as it is important to chew our food, we need to cut the compost’s “food” as finely as we can. The ideal sizes of the pieces are 2-3 inches, but 6-8 inches are OK, too. Pieces larger than this are not digested as easily and make it difficult or impossible to turn the compost. 2. We give them the right amount of water and air. The goal is to keep the compost “as moist as a “wrung-out sponge.” To keep it from drying out in the summer, we water it. If what we are adding to the pile is dry, we sprinkle it with the hose right then. If we notice that the material is dry when we are turning it, we sprinkle each layer as we move it. During the winter we may need to keep it from getting waterlogged. We do this by giving it a rounded top. Too much water will force out the air. 3. We turn the compost as frequently as we can. Over time, the compost packs down. This eliminates air . It can also dry out. Compost that is thirsty and not breathing properly will not decompose well. The solution is frequent turning. Ideally, we would turn each pile more frequently, but we are limited by the amount of material coming in and the arms of the turners. The steel pole can tell us if the compost has stopped decomposing. If the end of the pole is warm, decomposition is happening. If it is cold, it is not. When a bin fills up we turn the compost by moving it into the next bin. We use the shovel and pitch fork to do this. As we move the compost, try to mix it so that the material from the corners of the old bin goes into the center of the new bin. We also break up the clumps that have stuck together and add a little water. We try to keep the piles as round as we can to keep in the heat and moisture.
Compost Rules 1. Cut pieces to 8" or less. No corn, corn stalks, sunflowers or large roots. They don't break down. 2. No weeds at all. Period. We don’t want them recycled into our gardens. 3. No tomatoes nor parts of tomato plants. -Prevent the spread of any tomato diseases. 4. No thorns (roses, raspberries, etc.) They hurt our hands. 5. No diseased plants. 6. Kitchen vegetable scraps are good. Cover with wood chips to deter flies and rats. 7. No meat scraps, kitchen oils, or bread. These attract rats. 8. No waste from dogs, cats and birds. This can contain organisms harmful to humans. 9. Non-organic wastes, wood, wire, plastics, etc. and any questionable items need to go to the parking lot dumpster. Not the Compost Area. 10. Cover any organic waste you place on the compost pile with wood chips or other dry, organic material. Please moisten with water. Wood chips and compost are available for everyone to share. Please take a moderate amount so we all may benefit. Gardeners are encouraged to occasionally help move some compost from one bin to another. Our Orchard: Harvests are available for our gardeners to share. We suggest that each gardener to enjoy 3-5 pieces of fruit at most so all may be able to partake. Fallen fruit on the ground should be picked up and put into cans or the compost. Mummified old fruit on the tree needs to be removed- it prevents diseases next year. All gardeners are asked to help at one of our 3 orchard days to thin fruit, prune trees, and pull weeds, etc... and to join in caring for our orchard.
The Color Gardens were established to be a part of the Orchard perimeter to bring pollinators and beneficial insects into our Orchard and gardens. Color Gardens are also meant to showcase our Orchard. The Color Gardens include: -single color- (1 color only in flower) -bicolor- (2 colors in the flower or bicolor leaves) -designer theme (e.g. butterfly attraction). -rose garden--along the orchard perimeter. These gardens are not available for other gardeners to share or pick flowers.
Their plant height and garden width are predetermined and regular maintenance is needed. Color Gardens require a commitment of time, talent and treasure and are available for adoption. If interested, ask any Garden Coordinator.
Garden know-how: 1. Gardeners replace or repair their damaged hoses and hose hangers. Speak with gardeners around you if you want to share expenses, or just buy a new one. NOTE: Turn off hose from the faucet completely, not from those sprayer. Pressure left in hose will cause it to break down faster. Keep hose washers in good condition. Re-hang hoses. 2. Report all leaks and wood border damage to garden coordinators. 3. Public Works will repair faucets and hose posts and wooden borders. 4. To retain water, use mulch. Apply a 2'- 6' layer of mulch over the soil. Use compost, peat moss, cocoa bean hulls, sawdust, newspapers or shredded cardboard, wood chips, shredded bark, straw, grass clippings, leaves-any material to retain water. Mulch also reduces weeds. 5. Do not fill deep trenches or ditches with water. Instead, cultivate and water each plant. Please conserve water! Make each drop count. Use drought-resistant varieties when possible. Do not water at midday when water evaporates quickly. Do not leave plot unattended when watering. 6. To be informed about garden news or changes, gardeners should notify one of the garden coordinators of any change in contact information, phone number, email, mailing address, from their original application. 7. To maintain the garden as a peaceful place, we discourage the use of amplified music and loud cellphone conversations. 8. Garden coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the rules are followed at all times. 9. Check bulletin board at garden site and garden website at http://larkspurgarden.weebly.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/Larkspur- Community-Garden-486329994754345/ for updates. 10. Notify the Recreation department or the garden coordinators if there is a problem at the garden site. Problems? Notify the Recreation Department or garden coordinators if there is a problem at the garden site.
Your compliance with the above regulations will help everyone have an enjoyable and prosperous garden.
Recreation Department: Nick Stone, Supervisor-Larkspur Recreation email@example.com.
Garden Coordinators: Stephen Conner – Overall Coordinator, Plots #1-42, 60-69. Katherine Jones - Orchard Paul Da Silva - Compost, Plots #43-54. Stephen Conner - Plots #70-79.