Frequently Asked Questions

When Can I Start Planting?

Work can begin on your plot no earlier than the March 1. The planting deadline for plots is June 1st. Plots that remain unplanted by the June 1st planting deadline are assumed abandoned and will be forfeited without a refund.

The minimum requirements to “getting started” include: Weeding, planting or working the soil in preparation for planting and pathway clean-up.

Water to the gardens will be made available during the growing season as weather conditions allow (steady temperatures above 32 degrees). The projected annual turn on date is April 1.

How Often Should I Work On My Garden?

Remember, gardens take time. Please try to be realistic about the commitment that you are about to make. Gardeners must perform a minimum of 2 – 5 hours of service per plot each week to keep on top of a growing garden. Gardeners should be aware that NOGP hours are from 6am-9pm and planting activity should remain within those hours.

By June 10th, there should be marked progress toward a productive garden. This work should include: at least half the plot is worked, removal or maintenance of weeds, establishing and caring for plants, continued pathway maintenance.

By June 21st, there should be gardening activity and weeding in the entire plot. Weeds must not be any taller than 6 inches for our managers to assess your garden maintenance. At all times, the garden plot should be kept clean and free from debris, weeds and large rocks. Weeds become a major complaint of neighbors and other visitors and are the leading cause of plot forfeiture.

When Is Harvest & Garden Clean Up?

At the end of the growing season, gardeners must level and clean their plots. Clean up your plot, as well as the walkway directly around your plot by removing dead plants, rocks, temporary supports (fencing), and other debris. The projected annual shut off of the water is by September 15th. Each season, the clean up deadline is October 31th.

Gardeners whose plots remain with debris at the end of the year will be notified of a violation. The gardener will have 5 working days to clean up the plot. If the plot remains with debris the gardener forfeits the deposit. The gardener will lose their deposit and will not be able hold their garden plot for the following year’s garden.

What Is Garden Etiquette?

Gardening Courtesy and Communication

One of the main goals in community gardening is to work together or next to each other in relative harmony. Please be courteous in all interactions and work together to resolve any disagreements. NOGP Staff will check plots often to encourage productive use by all participants. Gardeners, make arrangements for plot maintenance by a friend if you will be away for more than a week.

Keeping a “Clean and Green” Garden!

Your garden plot must be planted, maintained, or mulched, and stay within its boundaries. You may not grow soil only in your garden plot – that is not gardening. You must have produce or plants in your plots. Plots may not be consistently weedy, untended or filled with debris. Gardeners are expected to spend 2 – 5 hours per week, on average, tending the plot during the growing season. Keeping a “Clean and Green” garden area helps to create an enjoyable place to work for all gardeners and is a delight to the community to see!

What Are The Community Garden Rules & Guidelines?

They address issues such as abandoned plots, weeds, parking, etc. These guidelines help make sure all of our gardens are child friendly and good family places to be! Have a fun and productive growing experience this season. Thank you for your cooperation and support of all of the following:

1. Respect of Property

Do: Respect your neighbor’s garden and the rights of the community residents as well as appreciate the fact that this land has been made available for the entire community to benefit from.

Do: Follow all rules and guidelines and keep your area maintained.

Do: Dump garden waste in the appropriate compost bins at your garden site.

2. What to Grow?

Do: Plant vegetables, herbs, flowers and small fruit plants for home consumption.

Do: Donate your produce if you will not use it.

Don’t: Use your garden plot to make soil. Community garden plots are to be used for produce or plants only.

Don’t: Plant trees or other plants that shade adjacent plots.

3. Stakes (Plot Markers)

Do: Adhere to the plot markers that are placed in each corner of each garden plot. All garden work is to be done within these markers.

Don’t: Touch or remove the plot marker stakes when gardening or tilling.

Don’t: Extend your garden past the plot makers or into designated pathways.

4. Structures

Do: Keep any garden structures (supporting posts, etc.) to a height of 4-6 feet tall and 4-feet wide, and do keep it in the center of your garden plot. These structures do tend to shade neighboring plots from early and late day sunshine; often-times robbing your neighbor’s garden of needed sunlight, especially in early spring and late fall.

Don’t: Place your gates so that they will block the designated pathway or other plot access. Gates may not swing into the designated walkways.

Don’t: Use any type of door as gates for your plot. They are unsightly and may rob your neighboring plots of sun.

Don’t: Lock your gates.

5. Fencing

Do: Keep your fencing within the plot markers. Fencing that is outside the plot markers and fencing that blocks walkways will be removed.

Do: Use only 4-6 foot wire fencing and metal or composite posts to surround your plot.

Don’t: Use twigs, branches, etc. for fencing around your garden plot. This is unsafe as it creates an impalement hazard. Hazardous fences and fences not meeting height and/or material requirements will be removed from the garden plots.

Don’t: Use visquene, sheets, plastic sheets, tarps, orange snow fencing, etc. This will keep the community gardens a beautiful and inviting place for your fellow gardeners and the neighborhood.

Don’t: Use flags and other types of flagging in the gardens. Keep the decorating of the garden up to your plants!

6. Walkway Maintenance

Do: Be responsible for half of the pathway(s) surrounding your plot. These walkways must remain at their original width and free from weeds and other obstructions.

Don’t: Place fencing or gates in the walkway (remember you have to stay within the plot markers) or have your fencing or gates blocking walkways. Fencing that is in the walkways or blocking walkways will be removed. Gates may not swing into the walkway.

Don’t: Have plants growing into the paths or hanging over the paths.

Don’t: Store items in the walkways (equipment and garden refuse can be stored temporarily while the garden is being tended).

7. Water and Waterlines

Do: Conserve water. Keep your hoses leak-proof.

Do: Be courteous and limit your use of watering time when others require water or keep in mind to water when few other gardeners are present.

Do: Be considerate of the neighboring gardens when watering your plot and do not drag hoses over neighboring gardens.

Do: Be aware of where the water lines are before you till or dig, especially if using motorized equipment. You are to notify staff at 402-957-2776 immediately if you clip a waterline. If you clip a waterline, it is your full responsibility to pay for the repairs.

Don’t: Drink the water, wash vehicles, etc.

8. Chemical Use/Organic Gardens

DO: Let us know if you need and want information on organic gardening.

Don’t: Use chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. They are prohibited in our community gardens, walkways, and grassy areas.

9. Parking

Do: Use the designated parking area provided.

10. Harvest & Charity

Do: Harvest your crops once they have matured. This may keep the frequency of “free-pickers” from entering the gardens in search of ripe produce. It will also minimize excess waste and garden rot.

11. Litter

Do: Pick up litter from the pathways and common areas. This will contribute to the health and cleanliness of the entire garden.

Don’t: Throw rocks or other heavy items into the garbage cans. They make it difficult to empty out the garbage can.

Don’t: Throw weeds and rocks over the fence.

12. Children

Do: Teach your children the many benefits of gardening.

Do: Work to keep our gardens child friendly, make every effort to see that children respect the neighboring garden plots, walkways, and other gardeners.

13. Pets

Do: Pets are to remain on-leash (Municipal Ordinance). You are responsible for your pets waste. Waste and urine from pets are often detrimental to gardens and produce.

14. Tools and Power Equipment

Do: Bring your own seeds, gardening tools, hoses, etc. for your plots. Small power equipment (power tillers) must be run by adults only. Power is not provided for electric equipment.

15. Sale of Grown Goods

Do: Sell, share or donate your extra produce grown by your efforts if you choose to.

16. Deer, Vandals and Other Garden Pests

Do: Be aware that this does happen. There is very little we can do about the occasional marauding deer and free pickers. Some gardens will have fencing that still will not keep the deer away, however will provide some security from these hungry wanderers.

Do: Get to know your neighbors and keep an eye on the community garden. Security of the garden plots from vandalism will be the responsibility of the gardeners.

Don’t: Lock access gates to your garden plot.

18. Notification of Violations

Do: Following all the above guidelines should keep you free from receiving violation notifications. Ignorance of these guidelines will not be an excuse to receiving a violation. This will also ensure that everyone will have a successful and enjoyable gardening season. Failure to maintain your garden plot in an attractive manner, and after due warning, could result in forfeiture of your gardening privileges. Please read our policy below:

A written notice of the violation will both be posted in your plot and emailed or mailed to the address given on your rental agreement. The gardener will have 7 days to correct the problem. If there is no response to the warning and letter, your plot, and plot fee will be forfeited for the year.

Notice: With the forfeiture, you have removed your rights for preferential plot reservations for the following year.

What About Volunteering?

Volunteer – it’s easy! We look for volunteers that can give as little as a day, or as much as an entire summer in helping out with our Community Garden Park, special garden events or programs, up-keeping any unused plots or even teaching your own gardening class!