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 tilling, 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 plot. Fee is due at the time of registration with a $15 deposit that will be refunded upon clearing of plot at the end of season.
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 notify you when the community garden is ready. This usually happens 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. Indianwood and Boat Docks locations have water lines that use hose systems. The Park District will supply a tank of water at Hartmann Park location 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. The Park District will install fencing around the perimeter of the garden location. The use of fencing within your plot is okay but must be at least a half a foot within your plot. You must be able to access your garden without touching your neighbor’s plot. Trellises or row fencing can be used, provided they are no taller than 3 feet. Any fencing not complying to these rules will be asked to be removed.
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.