Garden Management Guidelines and Useful Information

This website has a wealth of information, as does our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OGCommunityGarden), so please take the time to familiarise yourself as this will help ensure the smooth running of the garden for the enjoyment of everyone.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact a member of the Committee (in person or via email, ogcommunitygarden@gmail.com) who will follow up as soon as practicable.

The following hopefully covers the key information you need to know.

Membership, plots and fees

Membership is annual from July to June and can be individual, a family/household, or an organisation.  Each membership is entitled to apply to rent a plot annually, if one is available.  Where available, members may rent a second plot, on the basis that they will relinquish one plot if required for new members (note there is a waiting list). Membership fees and plot rental fees are reviewed annually.

Plot fees are required to be paid by the due date, otherwise the Committee may reallocate the plot to a member on the waiting list.

Members and plot-holders responsibilities and entitlements

We are a community garden and so each and every member has shared responsibilities as well as entitlements.  These include:

  • The reasonable share of garden materials (e.g. pea straw) made available on site.
  • Access to and a share in a reasonable amount of produce from communal garden areas. Please respect other member’s plots and don’t take produce unless given permission.
  • Managing compost for the benefit of everyone (see Composting and green waste).
  • Assisting in the management of communal areas of the garden (generally at working bees).
  • Access to the greenhouse, shed and common tools and other equipment (to use on site).
  • Reporting access and safety issues to the Committee as soon as practicable, to ensure risks are minimized.
  • Receiving all garden communications (generally via email – or on the notice board at the Garden).
  • An invitation to participate in all Garden activities (Garden gatherings, workshops etc.) and social events.
  • Participating in working bees (x4 for plotholders, x1 for others) – held on the last Sunday of each month (except December and January), 10am – noon.
  • Keeping pathways alongside your plots (to a distance of 1m) clear of weeds, rubbish, stakes, bales of straw, timber etc. and ensure paths remain accessible to everyone of all abilities.
  • Endeavouring to follow organic gardening/permaculture principles, including avoiding use of chemicals.

Garden access and security

Access is limited to members who are provided with a PIN to access the keys.  Any visitors must be under the supervision of a member.

Children are very much welcome but must be supervised by a responsible adult.  Please pick up after your children and put toys belonging to the garden off the paths and out of the way.

Members are encouraged to leave the gates open while they are present, and to welcome community members to explore and ask questions.

The gates must be closed and locked when leaving the garden, and all shed doors shut.

For insurance requirements, members and others organizing events must ensure that a register is kept of everyone attending the garden.

The garden is a “No Smoking” area.  Alcohol should be consumed at organized events only.

Garden tools and equipment

Ensure tools are clean and securely put away following use, and shed doors shut.  If you believe that any equipment is broken or unsafe, please remove it from general use and advise the Committee.

Composting and green waste

Compost management is an on-going challenge, and is a key responsibility for every plot holder.

Compost bins are available around the garden, and instructions on good composting practice are provided.  Please contribute only to the currently active bins, and don’t pile up green waste in front of the compost bays and bins or leave green waste for others to manage.  You can take a reasonable share of compost once the “ready” sign is displayed on bins.

Please take any diseased (viral, fungal) plant material home to dispose of in your green bin.  If you don’t want to or can’t compost your green waste, then please also take it home.

Some key points to remember are:

  • Small pieces decompose quicker, so chop it before you add it.
  • Turn the contents of the bin, and water if looking dry.
  • Alternate wet (green) and dry (brown) as far as possible.
  • Don’t over-fill a compost bay or bin.

Making the most of your plot

Garden plots are a valuable resource, and members should be actively using their plot throughout the year, including keeping the plot cultivated and weeded.  If you are going away, please find a plot “buddy” to look after your plot during your absence, or let the Committee know so they can keep an eye on your plot.

Members may forfeit their plot if they become neglected.  The Committee will endeavour to make contact before taking this step.

Pest and weed management

Weeds should be controlled with heavy mulching and regular weeding.  Plot holders should also keep the paths adjacent to their plots weed free (up to 1m at least).  Organic pest and disease control options should be used – if you are not sure, please seek the advice of the Committee.

Herbicides/weed killers, such as glyphosate, are not permitted on private plots, and insecticides are also prohibited.  Many garden pests can be controlled via companion planting and use of organic sprays such as garlic spray.

Plants that can be grown

In the communal/shared areas we grow fruit trees and vines, herbs, native food plants and some flowering plants for colour.  Where there is space we also grow some green leafy veggies.

Plot holders are free to make their own choices about planting, with a few considerations:

  • Growing potentially poisonous or allergenic plants is not permitted.
  • Invasive plants, such as ivy, blackberry, fennel, oxalis, horseradish, must not be grown.
  • Potentially invasive plants, such as mint, should only be grown in pots or tubs so the plant can be effectively contained.
  • Trees and large shrubs that may shade neighbouring plots should not be planted.

Water use

The primary water source is from the tanks behind the shelter, so water conservation is a priority.  There are a number of taps in the garden connected to the tanks (check if the tap is connected to the black piping). Only use watering cans to water plots (please return to under the sink in the shelter after use).

Town water should only be used if there is no tank water available.

Check the notice board for current watering instructions and water-saving suggestions.  Advice about water-wise gardening will generally be provided in the lead-up to each summer – and mulching of plots is encouraged to conserve water and discourage weeds.

Toilet

The garden has an accessible toilet.  Cleaning supplies are in the cupboard in the toilet and members are asked to check and clean the toilet on a regular basis. Please ensure the door is closed after use.

Rubbish and recycling

Members are asked to take all non-compostable rubbish, including plastic bags and seedling trays, home to dispose of in their own rubbish or recycling bins.

Donation of materials

The garden has built up a collection of shared resources which are available for use on site (and to borrow with the permission of the Committee).  While additional resources may be welcome, materials donated must be in good condition and usable.  The Committee reserves the right to determine whether to accept donated materials, which then become the property of Community Garden Ocean Grove.

Art and structures in plots

Plot holders can install structures, materials and art pieces within the boundaries of their plot, but should keep in mind the potential impact on neighbouring plot holders (eg. shading), and any safety risks (eg. stability, sharp edges and points).  The Committee must be consulted prior to the installation of anything large, or anything in shared and communal areas.  Take care with stakes – no sharp or dangerous materials should be poking out into pathways.

Pets

Dogs and other domestic pets are permitted at the garden, but must be kept on a lead and under control at all times.  It is important that owners ensure that others at the garden, especially children, are comfortable with the presence of the pet and remove if necessary.  All poo must be picked up and removed from the garden.  If you have concerns about a pet at the garden or you believe the above rules are not being followed, please let the Committee know.

First Aid and safety

A First Aid Kit is stored in the cupboard in the toilet, and a Fire extinguisher is installed in the alcove beside the sink.

Gardeners should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (eg. gloves, face-mask, goggles or spectacles, knee pads etc.) appropriate to the task, and are reminded to protect themselves against excessive sun exposure.

If an accident or incident occurs at the garden resulting in an injury, first aid or medical care should be provided as soon as possible.  Any matter that may result in an insurance claim MUST be reported to the Committee, and as soon as practicable an Accident/Incident report should be completed and witnessed.  A form is available. The Committee will review all incidents.

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