Common Areas of Concern

Common Areas of Concern

Assign a garden president to create clear and well-enforced garden rules to minimize misunderstandings. If something is not clearly stated in the rules, members of the group can vote to add new rules or modify existing ones. Language barriers are a common source of communication misunderstandings. Garden leaders should make every effort to have a translator present at all meetings.

It is important to continuously maintain the lot and keep weeds from taking over. Provide gardeners with workshops and printed materials about how to prevent weeds from ruining the garden during off-seasons and troublesome weather. To prepare for the winter, apply a thick layer of mulch or hay on top of beds to reduce weeds.

Deer and ticks are especially problematic in Suffolk County. To keep deer out of your garden, select crops that are undesirable to deer, and use electric fences, woven-wire fences, or scare devices. To shield yourself from ticks, be sure to wear light-colored, protective clothing, with pants tucked into socks or boots. Perform a thorough check for ticks immediately after gardening. To manage other insects, rotate crops annually to avoid pest build-up. Choose crops that are resistant to pests in your area. Floating polyester row covers can also be laid over crops susceptible to pests.

It is important to build your compost system right away. Provide training to your gardeners and volunteers so that everyone knows how to use it. Without an adequate compost system, large amounts of waste will begin to build up and create an eyesore. This could hurt your relationship with neighbors and property owners. Make sure everyone know how to sort trash properly, what to compost, and what to recycle.

A high rate of turnover is likely to occur. People may sign up for plots but not follow through with maintenance. Create a clause in your gardener agreement that states gardeners forfeit their right to the plot if they do not maintain it or plant in it within one month.

Invite the community officer from you local precinct to a garden meeting to get their suggestions on how to make the garden safe and secure. Community officers can also be a great help in solving any future problems with garden vandalism, drug dealing, theft, and gang activity.

Most gardens experience occasional acts of vandalism. The best action you can take is to replant any damaged produce immediately. Generally, the vandals become bored after a while and will stop unwanted acts. It is important not to get discouraged.