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GARDEN GUIDELINES

Please read the Guidelines carefully.
They can help make gardening at HCG an enjoyable and safe experience for everyone.
Plot holders who ignore the guidelines risk forfeiting their plot.

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APPLYING FOR A PLOT

  • Apply for a plot by completing and signing the HCG Registration Form.

  • The Garden Exec will review all applications and assign plots at their discretion.

  • If no plot is available at the time of application, the applicant’s name will go on a waiting list. The Garden Exec will contact them when a plot becomes available.

ALLOCATION OF PLOTS

  • Returning plot holders in good standing will be offered the plot they used last year.

  • Returning plot holders should complete the HCG Renewal Form.

  • The maximum number of plots a plot holder can rent is two. 

  • Plot holders who wish to give up their plot should contact a member of the Garden Exec by January 15th.  

  • Plots are allocated to the person or persons named in the HCG Registration Form. Plots are not transferable without the permission of the Garden Exec.

FORFEITURE OF PLOTS

A plot may be forfeited and reassigned if:

  • the plot has not been cleared and prepared for planting by April 15th.

  • the plot is not being effectively weeded and appropriately cultivated through planting of herbs, vegetables, small fruit and flowers during the growing season, as detailed in the Guidelines section Maintenance of Individual Plots.

  • the plot has not been satisfactorily cleaned up at the end of the season as detailed in the Guidelines section Maintenance of Individual Plots.

In this event, the following procedures will apply: 

  • April 1st – June 15th. Plot holders will be contacted by email and given seven days’ notice to resolve the situation. 

  • June 15th – end of season. Plot holders will be contacted by email and given ten days’ notice to resolve the situation.

  • If the situation is not resolved or satisfactory arrangements not agreed by the end of the notice period, the plot holder will forfeit the plot and the Maintenance Fee. The plot will be reassigned and the plot holder will not be assigned a plot the following season.

ANNUAL FEES

  • Plot Rental is paid annually.

  • Maintenance and Volunteer fees are a one-off payment for all plot holders. These fees will be held in trust until your plot is surrendered or the fee is forfeited 

  • All three fees – Plot Rental, Maintenance and Volunteer Fees – should be paid as a single amount in an e-transfer to highlandcommunitygarden9@gmail.com with your name and plot number in the message. 

  • All fees must be paid by March 1st in order to reserve your plot. 

 

Plot rental fees 

Plots 1 – 4                               $40

Plots 5 – 12                             $35

Plots 13 –28                            $30

Plots 29 and higher               $35​

Except:

Plots 43, 48, 49, 50                $30​ 

Plot 55                                   $25

Half Plots  (a/b)                     $25

This payment is not refundable. 

 

Maintenance Fee

  • Maintenance Fee per plot holder: $25

  • Full refund if the plot holder complies with the Guidelines.

  • Forfeited if the plot holder breaches the Guidelines, particularly those detailed in the section Maintenance of Individual Plots.

 

Volunteer Fee

  • Volunteer Fee per plot holder: $50

  • Full refund if the plot holder complies with the Guidelines.

  • Forfeited if the plot holder breaches the Guidelines detailed in the section Maintenance of Common Use Areas.

 

Compost

Guidelines: Text
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MAINTENANCE OF INDIVIDUAL PLOTS

Each plot holder is responsible for the maintenance of their own plot and surrounding pathways. Plot holders are advised to attend to their plot at least once a week during the growing season.

 

Planting & cultivating

  • Grow herbs, flowers, vegetables and small fruits. 

  • Grow organically and cultivate sustainable, organic gardening practices. 

  • Improve soil every season by using manure, compost and mulch. 

  • Place tall plants (such as sunflowers or corn) and grow houses so they do not shade other plots. 

  • Make supports for climbing plants as unobtrusive as possible.

  • Harvest vegetable and flowers only from your own garden. 

 

Weeding

  • Weed and clean plot boundaries 

  • Weed and mulch one half of the pathway between your plot and neighboring plots using the supplied mulch.

  • Weed perennial and invasive weeds, such as morning glory, dandelion, creeping buttercup and quack grass early in the season, then regularly throughout the growing season. 

  • Pull weeds with their roots, rather than simply hoeing the tops.

  • Dispose of invasive weeds in the bin provided, not on the compost heap.

  • Control weeds from April 1st onwards, even if plots are not planted with crops until May.

Plot maintenance 

  • Keep pathways around the plot clear of plants, refuse, sticks, rocks and other obstructions.

  • Edge the plot with rocks or other natural materials rather than, for example, treated wood. 

  • Keep fencing discreet, avoiding bright colours.

  • Dispose of compostable garden waste and diseased plants (e.g. blight-infected tomatoes or potatoes) in the designated compost area.

  • Arrange for the plot to be watered and maintained during planned absences of ten days or more.

  • Inform the Garden Exec of dates of planned absences and the name and contact deetailss of the person(s) temporarily maintaining the plot.

  • Clean and clear plot(s) at the end of the growing season. Only perennial flowers, herbs and winter vegetables may remain. The deadline for plot clean-up is Nov 15th.

Restrictions​

  • Do not use non-organic herbicides (weed killers) or pesticides.

  • Do not allow weeds, vines, visitors or pets to encroach on neighbours’ plots.

  • Do not plant trees or large permanent shrubs that might shade or encroach on other plots.

  • Do not use carpet or other non-biodegradable material as mulch.

  • Do not grow marijuana plants. Although it is now legal to grow a limited number of marijuana plants per person, it is not legal to grow them in spaces where they are visible to the public.

Guidelines: Text
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MAINTENANCE OF COMMON USE AREAS

All plot holders have a responsibility to maintain common use areas of the garden.

 

  • Each plot holder is required to volunteer a minimum of three hours each season to maintain common use areas.

  • Complete three voluntary work hours for a refund of the Volunteer Fee

  • Failing to complete three voluntary work hours will forfeit the Volunteer Fee and may forfeit the right to be reassigned a plot the following year.

  • The Garden Exec may designate volunteer work days in May and June.

Guidelines: Text
Gardening Tools

TOOLS

All plot holders have a responsibility to keep the tool shed secure and tidy.

 

  • Each plot holder will be given the access code for the tool shed. 

  • Tools marked HCG (Highland Community Garden) are for common use.

  • Clean tools after use. Return them to the shed. Make sure the shed is securely locked.

  • If you store your own tools in the shed, keep them clean and clearly labeled. 

  • Do not use more than your share of storage space in the shed.

Guidelines: Text
Water Filter Maintenance

WATER

All plot holders have a responsibility to use water wisely.

 

  • The shut-off for the garden’s water is located inside the garden shed. 

  • Turn off the water using the shut-off in the shed if you are the last person to leave the garden. If other plot holders are in the garden, discuss and agree who will turn off the water. 

  • Report any leaks, such as water oozing up out of the ground or from the hose bib, to the Garden Exec as soon as possible.

  • Turn off the water at the hose bib when you have finished watering.  

  • Water quickly, then turn off your hose bib. Water pressure is reduced when more than two people are using the hoses. 

  • Do not leave running hoses unattended.

Conserving Water

  • Water deeply but not often, unless you are nurturing new transplants. During the dry season, watering once or twice a week is enough.  

  • Target water at the roots of your plants, rather than generally spraying the surface. 

  • Use the water barrels that are located throughout the garden whenever possible. Refill your nearest barrel if it is more than half empty. 

  • Mulch around plants with biodegradable materials such as compost, leaves or straw and by hilling up dirt around the stems of your plants.

Vegetable Picking

GENERAL CONDUCT IN THE GARDEN

The garden should be a safe place for plot holders, children and the community. 

 

  • Keep the gate closed at all times, and lock the gate after leaving on evenings and weekends.

  • Children are welcome in the garden but must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times. Please teach your children to respect garden plots and to conserve water.

  • Keep pets on a leash unless they are trained to stay with their owner.

  • Be aware of poisonous elements in the garden – rhubarb leaves, potato and tomato leaves, lupin and foxglove, for example. It is the responsibility of individual plot holders to ensure their children and pets do not ingest these items.

  • Avoid bringing anything on the site that might compromise the safety of others.

  • Avoid leaving tripping hazards in the pathways.  Make sure the sharp edges of hoes and the tines of rakes are pointing down when you are not using them. 

  • Do not remove any plants or equipment from another plot holder’s plot without the plot holder’s permission, or from common areas without approval of the Garden Exec.

Community Garden

COMMUNICATION

Good and positive communication is needed to make gardening at Highland Community Garden a safe and enjoyable place for everyone.

 

  • Stay up to date with garden news, announcements and information by visiting the Highland Community Garden website. You can also check the bulletin board beside the shed door, and post messages and garden-related information for other plot holders.

  • Bring any concerns, questions or unresolved conflicts with other plot holders to one of the Garden Exec members. 

  • Attend our harvest dinner, usually held in late August. It is a time to close the gardening year, celebrate our successes and communicate items of interest.

  • Report thefts to a member of the Garden Exec. Neighbours are welcome to enjoy a walk through the garden. However, if you see people behaving suspiciously or engaging in vandalism, you might ask politely; “Do you have a garden plot here?” or “Is this your plot?" Our prime concern, though, is for your personal safety, so use your judgement before confronting anyone. Report any such incidents to the Garden Exec.

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UNHARVESTED PRODUCE

Every year, a substantial amount of produce remains unharvested by plot holders.

 

  • The Garden Exec reserves the right to pick unharvested produce from any plot if it looks like it will otherwise go to waste. Any such produce will be donated to the Food Bank.

  • Inform a member of the Garden Exec if you have surplus produce you would like to share with others.

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