The Park District’s Community Garden Program has been growing steadily since 2011. The District has a total of 60 plots (15′ x 15′) available for rental this summer at three garden sites:
1). Century Park North Garden – 1400 Indianwood Road (36 plots)
2). Century Park Boat Dock Garden – 1001 Lakeview Parkway (15 plots)
3). Hartmann Park Garden – 292 Oakwood Road (9 plots)
Community Garden Lottery Instructions
1). You must be a Vernon Hills resident to enter the lottery. Make sure your proof of residency information is up to date (must be renewed annually).
2). Click here to register for a Garden Plot. You will be able to pick your preferred garden location during the registration process. There is no guarantee that you will receive your primary location, so please list your secondary choice as well.
3). In order to be entered in the lottery, your $35 payment must be received at the time of registration.
4). Lottery begins on Tuesday, March 7. Lottery registration forms must be received by 9 pm on Friday, March 24.
5). Lottery winners will be notified the week of March 27. Open registration for any remaining plots will begin on April 3.
6). Residents who are not selected in the lottery will receive a full refund.
Planting your Garden
The Park District staff will till the garden following the last frost (usually early May). Gardeners will be notified once the ground has been prepared for planting.
Q. What is a community garden?
A. A community garden is a parcel of land, subdivided into smaller plots, that are open to local residents who wish to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Residents pay an annual rental fee, purchase their own seeds and plants, and do their own planting, weeding, watering and harvesting.
Q. Why have community gardens become so popular?
A. Economics, health and the incomparable taste of fresh vegetables are the main reasons. With a small start-up budget and a little sweat equity, you can reap a pretty good reward. Plus, community gardening is a great way to meet people, relieve stress and enjoy the outdoors with family.
Q. How much does it cost to reserve a plot?
A. The annual fee is $35 to reserve a 15’ x 15’ plot. Fee is due at the time of registration.
Q. I am not a resident of Vernon Hills. Can I still rent a garden plot?
A. Our reservation system is first open to residents. After the resident reservation dates are over, non-residents can reserve any remaining garden plots.
Q. When can I start planting my garden?
A. The Park District will till the garden in early May, and planting will be able to begin by mid-May. Renters will be notified when the garden will be available to begin planting. All plants must be removed in November. Any material remaining after the determined date will be discarded after this date. Please remove all stakes, poles, and other items.
Q. Will there be water available at the community garden?
A. The Park District will supply two tanks of water that can be used to water your plants. There will not be any watering containers available, so you will need to bring your own.
Q. Can I use any herbicides or pesticides in my garden plot?
A. No. The use of chemical additives in your garden plot is prohibited. You can use mulch or grass clippings to minimize the growth of weeds. Weeds should be manually removed and placed in the compost area located near the garden. Organic-based pesticides are allowed, but should be used minimally
Q. Can I install a fence around my garden plot?
A. No. The Park District will install fencing around the perimeter of the garden. The use fencing in your plot is prohibited and will be removed. Trellises or row fencing can be used, provided they are no taller than 3 ft
Q. What are the most popular vegetables to grow?
A. In late May or early June, warm season crops (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and beans) can be planted and will begin yielding fresh, edible produce in six to 10 weeks, depending on the variety. Cooler-weather vegetables, which can be planted in late summer and enjoyed in the fall, include leaf lettuce, spinach, broccoli and peas. When purchasing plants or seeds, check with your local nursery or garden shop to help decide which variety of vegetable meets your needs.