Garden Rules and Guidelines

COMPOSTING/PLANT REFUSE: Composting is allowed in your individual plots but please properly maintain this compost (be a good neighbor). Garden waste not used for composting is to be removed by you from BPCG. Take home any diseased or infested plants or plant refuse. There is an all-garden composting area located at the west end of the parking lot and adjacent to the composting bins. You may place organic material generated in your garden plot(s) in this area and it will be managed by the compositing committee. Any donated compost or woodchips (for garden path maintenance) will also be held in this area.

No plant material generated outside BPCG in the composting area without prior permission by the Garden Manager.  This means that you should not bring your yard waste to the garden.  There is enough work just keeping on top of the garden material.

FEES:  Fees are based on a sliding scale according to family size and income. See the Registration form for fee structure. Fees are usually adjusted on an annual basis.

GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY:  Please show respect for other gardeners by not entering other plots without the gardener’s permission. Plants taller than 4 ft. must be grown in the center of the plot or permission must be granted from the neighbor to grow them near the plot edge. Perennials that are difficult for successive gardeners to eradicate must not be grown (e.g. Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish, comfrey, mint, grapes, woody trees or shrubs, or raspberries). Disputes can be reported to the garden managers.

GUESTS, VISITORS and CHILDREN:  The gardener agrees to accompany and supervise any guests, visitors, or children while they are in the garden at all times and agrees to be responsible for the conduct of these parties. BPCG will not be responsible for any injuries.

If a gardener is unable to properly maintain his/her plots for an extended period because of health issues, travel, family emergencies, etc. they may select a friend, family member, etc. to maintain their garden during this period of absence. Once again, the gardener is responsible for the conduct of that person. We ask that you notify the garden managers if this need arises. Also, we will have a list of people in the garden who volunteer to help gardeners in need of such assistance, and you can contact one of the managers for their names.

HOURS: Badger Prairie Community Gardens will be open from dawn until dusk each day.

INTOXICANTS: BPCG is located on land annually leased from Dane County Parks. Rules governing use of intoxicants on County parkland also apply to such use in BPCG leased areas.

KIOSK: Gardening classes, and events such as picnics will be posted here. Please check for information here while visiting your plot(s).   A green mailbox is attached to one of the support legs of the kiosk. The wooden box immediately beneath the mailbox holds forms for gardeners to record their volunteer work hours. Once the sheet is completed you may place it inside the mailbox via the slot in the top. You may also use these forms, or any other form of paper, to note suggestions for garden managers to consider.

MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS: Membership meetings will be held during Spring and Early Autumn. Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month. Contact any Board member NLT the Tuesday before a scheduled meeting in order to be included on the agenda or to suggest new initiatives. E-mail notification is an acceptable method of communication.

MULCH: such as leaves and marsh hay are encouraged.   Carpet mulch and stone mulch are not allowed anywhere within the plot areas. If plastic sheeting is used, we ask that you remove it from your plot(s) at the end of the gardening season.

LIVESTOCK MANURE: Manure that is well- composted or sterilized is allowed as a soil amendment or as a source of nutrients within plots. Never use fresh manure near still viable crops, because of the potential presence of microorganisms that are toxic to humans. Application of fresh manure may only be done during November. Several on-line sources provide useful information on the use of livestock manure in garden plots. You may also obtain such information from the Dane County Cooperative Extension Office.

ORGANIC GARDENING METHODS ONLY: All garden plots are to be tended using organic gardening methods. Only U.W. Extension approved products may be used. Neem oil and Safer’s Insecticidal soap are two examples of approved products. Bacillus thuringiensis preparations are excellent for controlling caterpillars attacking such crops as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc. if used as directed. It is sold in various trade names such as BT, Thuricide, etc. Organic fertilizers are encouraged.   Contact one of the garden managers if you have questions about a particular product.

PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER: Use of such lumber is allowed, but use of natural hardscape materials (e.g. spruce, cedar boards/planks) is the preferred method for building raised beds, walkways, benches, etc.

PATH MAINTENANCE: Gardeners are responsible for keeping paths abutting their plots passable and free from debris, weeds, sticks, rocks, fencing material and wayward produce. Hoses should not be left in the paths when not in use. Guideline: you are responsible for controlling weeds that grow along the outer edge of your garden and into the middle of the garden path(s) on a timely basis. The Garden Management Committee will attempt to have a supply of wood chips that gardeners can scatter on the walkways, as needed.

PETS: are not allowed in the gardens. Please visit Badger Prairie Dog Park, 6720 Highway 151 Verona, WI, or Prairie Moraine Parkway Dog Park, County HWY PB, near Verona.

PLANTING DEADLINE: Gardening must begin no later than June 1. Your plot will be reassigned if it is not planted and tended in earnest by then.

PLOT ASSIGNMENT: Returning gardeners need to reapply each year. New gardeners may only apply for one plot during the first year. Gardeners should submit one application per household/address. If good standing is maintained, the gardener may apply for additional plots during the following years. The maximum number is two plots. Plot changes and other requests will be taken into consideration by the Registrar during the plot assignment period. Satisfactory accumulation of volunteer hours and acceptable plot maintenance are the responsibility of the gardener listed first on the application form. There are no refunds unless the gardener doesn’t, for some reason, receive a plot assignment. If plots are available after the standard registration period a returning gardener may apply for the use of a third plot and for that growing season only. The same fee shall apply to the additional plot and a lottery will be used if there are more requests than plots.  All plots have been assigned for the 2016 season.

REGISTRATION PRIORITY: Applications not accompanied by full payment will be returned with no plot assignment(s). Returning Gardeners may secure their same plot(s) or request a location change. The returning gardener/member is the first responsible party listed on the application form. You will need to use the same name each year to be recognized as a Returning Gardener. A waiting list will be started if there are more applications than available plots. Gardeners on the waiting list will be assigned plots as they become available. Individual/family plots will receive higher priority than community plots during the additional plot assignment process.

Annual registration deadlines will be listed on the application form, and on the BPCG website.

PLOTS: Gardeners receive plots “as is”. Fencing material and crops may remain in place and gardening may continue year-round as long as the gardener remains in good standing. If not returning in the spring, gardeners must remove any property they wish to keep. Any property left in the plot by the end of open registration becomes the property of the next gardener. Corner stakes marking plot perimeters should remain in place.

Gardening supplies, fencing materials, gardening equipment, etc. from individual plots are not to be stored on BPCG common areas (e.g. adjacent to storage shed and well, grass border areas, kiosk, etc.). Such materials will be donated or discarded by the garden management committee. Gardeners wishing to donate these kinds of items must first receive approval from the garden management committee as we do not want to create a “junkyard” area.

PRODUCE AND FLOWERS: grown in BPCG may not be sold. Gardeners are responsible for harvesting produce in a timely manner. Contact Badger Prairie Needs Network, Verona Food Pantry, etc. if you have more produce than you can use.

TOOL STORAGE SHED: The shed is for storage of supplies and equipment used for maintenance of common areas in BPCG. Gardeners may store equipment used in their plot(s) in storage containers placed within their assigned area. Shovels, rakes, hoes, pitchforks will be left in the composting area during the gardening season for general use by gardeners

WHEEL BARROWS: Please return BPCG wheel barrows to the composting area and place them so that they shed rainwater and snow melt water.

TRASH AND GARDEN WASTE: Please take trash (drink containers, old wire, lunch materials, broken stakes, etc.) , unused garden equipment and diseased garden materials home with you when you leave.

ROTOTILLING: Only hand -operated rototillers are allowed.

VANDALISM AND THEFT: Please report these actions to the garden managers communicate with the Board. The garden is secured with a locked gate, and the gate lock combination is 2585. If you and your vehicle are the last to leave the garden, even if for a short duration, it is your responsibility to lock the gate behind you .

Brian Berkan is the Dane County Park Ranger for this area and he can be reached at Ph. 220-4386 or Berkan@countyofdane.com. Call 911 if you think there is an immediate safety concern.

VEHICLES: Must be parked on the gravel surface of the parking lot. Please do not park on the road or drive on the grass. Please no idling of vehicles or playing of music from them.   Personal players that are kept at low volume are allowed.

VIOLATION OF MEMBERSHIP RULES: In the event a gardener violates any BPCG rules, policies or practices, the gardener will be issued a written notification by the garden managers. You will have reasonable opportunity to redress/correct the violation. In the event that no redress/correction is made and no response is received within two (2) calendar weeks of the written notification, a second notice will be issued. If no redress/correction is received within two (2) calendar weeks following the second notice, a final notice will be issued informing the gardener of suspension, or total forfeiture of gardening privileges and access to the garden plot(s). Pleases note that, at the discretion of the Garden Board of Directors, a violation of rules may result in the gardener being prohibited from future participation in BPCG. No refund of plot fees will be permitted.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS: The Registration Form contains a checklist of volunteer tasks designed to help maintain the overall operation and functionality of BPCG. You are required to select a task(s) from that list as part of the registration process. Also, gardeners are required to perform selected volunteer tasks from the list on an annual basis (6 hours per season) to be considered a “member in good standing” and thereby allowed to rent space during the following year.

Family members and friends can volunteer on the gardener’s behalf. Remember that you are responsible for their conduct during this activity. It is important to note your plot number(s) when signing in on designated volunteer work days or filling out the volunteer worksheets (see Kiosk, above) when performing work outside those designated days. Be sure to clearly print (1) your name (2)plot number (3) what you worked on (4)total number of hours. You may also email your volunteer hour totals to the Registrar.

IRRIGATION WATER: Please note the information posted on the kiosk pertaining to the appropriate use of ground water. Also, the water from the BPCG well is non-potable and is only for use on your crops ~ do not drink. Water requirements vary by climatic conditions, type of plants, soil type and many other factors. The Board will periodically provide information to assist in appropriate use of this precious resource. Garden water will be turned on as soon as possible in the spring (usually during the first week of May) and shut down in early October. The Garden Manager will provide updates on these two events, as necessary.

Soaker hoses, drip irrigation, timers, raised beds (including baled hay and straw culture) are permitted in BPCG. However, you are responsible for calibrating timers and avoiding over-watering, and making sure that your neighbors’ plots are not flooded because of errors on your part. Gardeners have found it useful to hang their car keys on the hydrant they are using as a reminder they have water running.

“WEED OR LOSE YOUR PLOT POLICY”: Nothing leads to more conflicts among gardeners than having neighbors allow their plots to become “weed seed banks”. Not only are they unsightly but the seeds will find their way into adjacent plots via surface water, wind, or gravity. They are a shared problem in close-quarter gardens like BPCG. During long absences from the garden, please find a friend or family member who will weed (and harvest) your garden for you. Limited exceptions can be made for individuals without sufficient resources or unanticipated long absences due to illness, injury, etc. But please bring this to the attention of the Garden Manager so that he/she can find volunteers who will assist you during this period.