Watertown Community Gardens

Arsenal Park Community Garden (APCG)

The Arsenal Park Community Garden will be closed for construction for the 2023 season starting in July - with a scheduled reopening for July of 2024 with more plots and new facilities.
Arsenal Park Community Garden Rules
Written by Watertown Community Gardens (WCG) July 25, 2016 

The Arsenal Park Community Garden (“APCG”) was organized in the spring and summer of 2016. The parkland on which the garden is located belongs to the Town of Watertown and falls under the stewardship of Watertown Conservation Commission. Park operations are conducted by the Public Works Department. Park use and permits are handled by Parks and Recreation Department. Fees are collected from all gardeners to support WCG. A steering committee (“SC”) will be organized to oversee the APCG. Garden Captains liaison between the SC and the WCG Board of Directors. All board meetings are open to the public. 

This is a segment of the new Design of the Arsenal Park Community Garden.  Members of the board met with the town planners and they incorporated most of the changes we suggested.  

The Watertown Community Garden is encouraging members to maintain membership with the new general membership, and you will be notified when we will once again be able to make plots available at Arsenal Park. 

In registering for a garden plot you agree to the following rules: 

  1. The APCG exists through the partnership of the Town of Watertown and WCG. Each year you must re-apply for a Plot, pay the garden fee, and follow the garden rules. 
  2. This is an organic garden. Non-organic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are prohibited. Organic fertilizers may be used in compliance with manufacturers’ instructions and shall not be left on-site or unattended at any time. Garden operations must be conducted safely. Hand tools must be stored in the shed or off site. The operation of power tools is prohibited at the APCG. 
  3. STEALING (that is, picking other people’s vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other plants) is strictly prohibited. Please respect your neighbor’s property. Ask before you use other gardener’s tools or hoses, and put them back where you found them. Stealing is unconscionable. 
  4. Dogs are not welcome at the garden in accordance with Park rules.
  5. Please bring your children to the garden. It is a wonderful experience for them to see things growing. Our gardening future depends on the little ones. Children are free to play in any designated children’s garden and/or digging area.
  6. You may grow any vegetables or flowers except plants over 4-5' in height are prohibited because they shade other gardeners' plots. 
  7. Planting invasive perennials is prohibited. If you are not sure what you are planting, please consult the garden captains or a member of the steering committee (SC). 
  8. The garden should be locked at all times. The combination to the gate lock will be shared with all gardeners at the beginning of the garden season, and may change each year. The site is patrolled periodically by the Department of Public Works Staff, but it is the responsibility of ALL gardeners to ensure the gate is locked when leaving the garden. 
  9. Water is a valuable resource which should not be wasted. Our ability to garden on the property is dependent on our ability to NOT WASTE water. Please turn off the water immediately after you finish using it. Gardeners must keep hoses off other peoples’ plots and roll up the hoses after use. We strongly suggest that you not water your plants during the heat of the day, best to water in the early morning. You may only water by hand, hose, or rain barrel. Sprinklers are NOT allowed. 
  10. Only one community garden plot per household is permitted. You may only garden in the plot assigned to your family. Plots sizes may not be enlarged. Each plot will have clearly defined edges that are not to be moved. You must have your plot care and planting underway by June 15 or you forfeit your plot for the year. 
  11. You must keep your garden weeded. Weed seeds from your garden become the weeds in your neighbor's garden. If you don’t weed, your plot will be considered abandoned even if it is planted. You will be allowed to use landscape fabric sometimes called “weed block” in your plot. This fabric does contain some of the weeding. 
  12. Watertown Community Gardens may provide compost bins for the community gardens. Please follow the guidelines for putting things in the compost bins. Not all weeds and plant materials belong in the compost. If you’re not sure, ASK. 
  13. Some pests (bugs, fungi, etc.) can spread quickly. If you are notified that you have pests or disease in your garden, you may need to remove the infested plants to avoid spread in the garden, or allow them to be removed if you are not able. Do not compost diseased plants. Please put them in your trash. Failure to remove and dispose of pests or diseased plants in your plot may lead to loss of your plot at the discretion of the Steering Committee. 
  14. No trash pick up or recycling collection is offered by the town for the garden. Please remove all of your trash and recycling from the garden. 
  15. Supports/Decorations for your plot: you may use tomato cages, trellis, poles (bamboo, wooden, metal) to support your plants. Just remember to be courteous to your neighbor, i.e., a 20 foot trellis to grow green beans may be considered not to be too courteous. 
  16. A Garden Coordinator may be appointed for the season each year by the Steering Committee, and would get a free plot. A coordinator must be a community gardener in the garden for which s/he is the coordinator. Coordinators would assist the garden captains in such tasks as: orient new gardeners to operating procedure, coordinate mulch, composting activities and clean-up days, answer questions, etc. 
  17. If ripe produce is not harvested, the Garden Coordinator or Garden Captains will remind the gardener to harvest. If it still remains one week later, the Steering Committee reserves the right to harvest such produce and distribute to the food pantry. 
  18. If you anticipate being gone from the garden for an extended period (two weeks or longer) you must let the garden coordinator or a member of the Steering Committee know, and arrange for your garden to be tended in your absence. 
  19. All gardeners must participate in at least 3 Workdays each growing season or complete an equivalent work project approved by the garden captains. Page 2 of 3 
  20. At the end of the season, all gardens must be prepared for winter. Cover crops, cold frames and other season extending apparatus are allowed. If you don’t show up for work days you may forfeit your plot for next year, at the discretion of the Steering Committee.
  21. Please garden safely: WCG and the APCG are not responsible for personal injury or theft of belongings. 
  22. Parking for APCG – Please park only in any regular Arsenal Park or Arsenal Project parking spot. WCG and APCG will not be responsible for any parking tickets or expenses incurred from towing.
Arsenal Park Community Garden Steering Committee
Doug Vannah

Susan Francis*
Marilyn Salvas* mjsalvas@gmail.com

*denotes garden captain

Watertown Community Gardens is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

P.O. Box 1041, Watertown, MA 02471


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