Pea Patch Garden Rules

Mirrormont Pea Patch Garden Rules: 10/13/10

The Pea Patch Committee adapted these rules from Marymoor and King County community gardens. These rules will be reviewed and revised as needed.

The Pea Patch rules are designed to help the garden run smoothly for all. We appreciate the cooperation and community spirit that makes this a successful community garden. However, any gardener who continues to break these rules after warning will lose their plot(s) with no refund.

Any gardener found to be in violation of the community garden rules will be asked to leave the garden.

Pea Patch Rules

1. OBTAINING A PLOT

  1. Mirrormont Pea Patch is open to Mirrormont residents who are paid members of the Mirrormont Community Association. To participate in the Mirrormont Pea Patch there is an additional annual fee to cover water and common costs. Group purchases can save us all money. The time period covered is from January through December each year. Gardeners are subject to these rules.

  2. Raised beds are 4-feet wide by 8-feet long (24); 8-feet by 8-feet (3), and 8-feet by 16-feet (11). They may be cultivated year round. The annual application fee is $15, plus $10 for up to three 4×8 plots, one 8×8 plot or one 8×16 plot.

  3. The maximum number of plots that a first-year gardener may rent is one.

  4. Plots may be shared among residents.

  5. Applications must be submitted by: February 7th. Application forms may be found on the MCA website.

  6. Returning gardeners have first preference to the plots they rented the previous year as long as their applications and payments are received by the deadline set by the Committee and they have complied with garden rules.

  7. Assignment of space is given first to returning gardeners who want to renew their plot(s). A waiting list will be maintained by the Pea Patch Registrar; plots will be assigned on a first come/first served basis.

  8. Applications received after the deadline will be assigned space as available.

  9. When you no longer want your plot, you must notify the Pea Patch registrar. You cannot give your plot to others.

2. PEA PATCH CALENDAR

  1. Applications may be submitted beginning November 1st and must be received no later than February 7th.

  2. Plots will be assigned beginning February 15th.

  3. Growing season – all year. You are responsible for maintaining your plot throughout the year.

  4. Use deadline: Plots not worked by May 15th or being used for storage only may be reassigned at the discretion of the Pea Patch Committee after consultation with the gardener.

  5. Availability: January to December. Water is turned off from approximately October 15—April 15 for winterization, but gardening can continue.

3. VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT

  1. Gardeners are responsible for contributing 8 hours per plot each year for the common areas of the garden (not inside your plot). Completing, recording, and reporting hours are your responsibility.

  2. Tasks for common areas include: weeding paths, spreading wood chips, maintaining compost bins, layering and turning compost, fence repairs, tool repair and maintenance, weeding & watering the herb garden, maintaining and winterizing the irrigation system, cleaning chairs & picnic tables, creating garden art, organizing educational programs, holding potlucks, participating in holding plant sales.

  3. Gardeners are responsible for recording their volunteer hours. Volunteer hours can be recorded on the log form in the shed or reported by email to the head of the Pea Patch Committee. The Mirrormont Pea Patch Committee will be monitoring and compiling the volunteer hours throughout the garden season.

  4. Volunteer hours must be completed by October 31st every year.

4. KEEPING YOUR PLOT

  1. During the gardening season, the Pea Patch Committee monitors plot usage. When plots need obvious attention for more than two weeks, gardeners will be contacted by email and asked to take care of the plot by a certain date. For vacations or extended away-times if you cannot find back-up to weed/water/harvest, contact the Pea Patch Committee and we will try to accommodate your leave.

  2. If the Pea Patch Committee contacts you about an untended plot two times in one year and your plot becomes untended a third time, the Committee will reassign the plot without further notice or refund.

  3. Violation of Pea Patch rules on gardening, behavior etc. will result in loss of privileges without refund.

5. USE AND MAINTENANCE

  1. Motorized vehicles and equipment are not allowed in the gardens, including rototillers.

  2. Gardeners are responsible for all tilling, soil amendments, cultivating, weeding, fertilizing, watering, end of season clean-up, and all other care of their plots.

  3. Garden plots are used for growing vegetables and flowers for the gardener’s own use or for donation to charitable organizations. Growing vegetables and flowers for commercial use is prohibited. Growing trees is prohibited.

  4. Gardeners should place any unwanted plant materials in the designated compost areas. Do not pile weeds and rocks in the pathways. Take home any non-plant materials (plastic, wire, trash) not being used in the garden. There is no trash container in the Pea Patch and the trash can in the parking area is NOT for Pea Patch use.

  5. Since plots are close together, gardeners must keep plots relatively free of weeds, especially when weeds are seeding, to avoid spreading them to other plots. NO WILDFLOWERS PLEASE.

  6. Tall plants (such as corn, sunflowers, or tall trellised plants) that cast extensive shade must be planted where they will not impact adjoining gardens. Tall row plants should be planted in north-south rows. If you grow plants 4 feet high or taller, plant them in the middle of your plot so your neighbor’s plot will not be shaded. Keep your plants within your own plot. If you grow spreading plants, be sure there is room in your plot.

  7. You must receive permission from the Pea Patch Committee before building any structure in your plot. Trees, large shrubs and permanent structures are not allowed in plots.

  8. Tires are not allowed.

  9. The Mirrormont Pea Patch supports local food banks and soup kitchens, and so we want to minimize food going to waste. The Food Bank Coordinator will contact gardeners whose food is not being harvested, and will tag those vegetables with a target date, beyond which they will be donated to the hungry. Tags will also be given to all gardeners to put on vegetables you’d like to donate.

  10. When a gardener discontinues gardening at Mirrormont Pea Patch, all perennial plant material, semi-permanent structures, wire cages, etc. must be removed. In particular, large material such as established grape vines or shrubs are to be removed. Individual gardeners are responsible for clearing the plots and returning them to their original weed-free condition so that they can be assigned to new gardeners. Any abandoned plant material will either be composted or removed.

6. WATER

  1. Gardeners must be present at their plots while watering them. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and other irrigation may not be left on unattended, aside from our automated drip irrigation system.

  2. Conservation – Please conserve water as much as possible.

  3. Water is to be used only for gardening. Make sure the water is turned off after use.

  4. Water is turned off during the winter (usually beginning in mid-October).

  5. Gardeners may not keep open containers of water on the premises. These are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes that may carry and spread viruses that are dangerous to humans.

7. INVASIVES

  1. Plants of an invasive nature (such as bamboo or English ivy) are not allowed in the ground. Plants on the State’s Noxious Weed List and King County Noxious Weed List are not allowed. These plants must be pulled if identified. 

  2. Click here to learn more about the current list of noxious or invasive plants

8. ORGANIC GARDENING REQUIRED

  1. GARDEN ORGANICALLY (NO pesticides, NO herbicides, NO weed killers, NO artificial fertilizers). Mirrormont Pea Patch gardeners follow stringent organic gardening standards, wildlife and environmental protection practices, and the legal rules set out by the King County Parks System. Therefore, the use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers is strictly forbidden (examples include Round Up and Miracle Grow).

  2. Use of raw human or animal waste, including “hot or green” manure is not allowed due to environmental and health concerns; however, fully composted manures such as steer or chicken manures are allowed. You may also use other organic fertilizers such as fish meal, bone meal, kelp meal, etc.

  3. For information on organic fertilizers and pest control, call the Master Gardener Hotline at 206-296-3440.

9. BEHAVIOR

  1. Dogs and other animals are NOT allowed in the garden area at any time. There is a doggie hitching posts by the back gate.

  2. There is no smoking allowed in the gardens at any time. Research shows that tobacco can transmit a virus to tomatoes.

  3. Use common courtesy and resolve differences in a neighborly way. For problems with fellow gardeners, stay polite and listen carefully; usually solutions are easily reached. Verbal or physical abuse will not be tolerated. Contact the Pea Patch Committee for more serious difficulties.

  4. Loud radios are prohibited.

  5. Closely supervise your children; help them learn respect for gardening and boundaries. Children using tools in the garden must be under direct and constant supervision of a parent or responsible adult. “Direct” means to be within talking distance.

  6. When not in use, tools, buckets, and other equipment cannot be left in the pathways. Paths must remain clear.

  7. As a courtesy to other gardeners, please do not walk on someone else’s plot or pick their produce unless invited. Do not damage, remove vegetables, flowers, or garden equipment without the owner’s consent.

  8. If you witness or experience garden theft or vandalism, notify police by calling 206-296-3311 to file a report, email other PeaPatchers, and report to the Mirrormont Community Association at Board@mirrormont.org

  9. The Mirrormont Pea Patch is not responsible for loss of garden products.

Pea Patch FAQ's

What is a Pea Patch?

A “pea patch” is a community garden. Since 1973, Seattle’s P-Patch Program (P for the Picardo Farm, Seattle’s first community garden) has served thousands of gardeners. As of 2015, their program now has 90 gardens, over 2000 plots on 32 acres of land that serve 2850 households.

What can you grow in a Pea Patch?

Gardeners can grow all organic vegetables, not just peas — or anything else, except noxious weeds, trees, and large shrubs.

How big is the Mirrormont Pea Patch, and how large are the plots?

The Pea Patch is 105 x 65 ft. It contains twenty-four 8-ft x 4-ft raised beds, three 8-ft x 8-ft plots, and eleven 8-ft- x 16-ft plots. The minimum fee is $25 for a raised bed. A common area contains compost piles, tool shed and picnic tables. The plot size of other community gardens varies from 80 sq ft to 400 sq ft; Seattle’s program charges an annual application fee of $26, plus $12 for each 100 sq ft gardened ($38 for 100 sq ft).

Who can obtain a plot?

Members of the Mirrormont Community Association can apply for a plot. There is an annual fee to cover water and joint purchases. There is currently a waiting list. Preference for plots is given to those who volunteer and contribute to maintaining the garden.

What are the benefits to the community?

Healthy food to share: Many Mirrormont residents love to grow vegetables without sacrificing trees to grow beans and broccoli. Gardeners share their vegetables with friends and neighbors. Excess produce is donated to Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. In 2016, gardeners donated 723 pounds of veggies.

Community building: Mirrormont Pea Patch has been weaving more community through gardening together, work parties, and bimonthly potlucks. Volunteers talk while working; people stop by on their walks to ask what’s happening. Gardeners are excited about exchanging seeds and seedlings, sharing food, and having potlucks made from the abundance of the garden. The garden is open to anyone who would like to walk through and see what’s growing throughout the year.

Education: Mirrormont Pea Patch is a place to learn together about growing food. Over the years, we’ve had a Master Gardener available at Growing Groceries Clinics or at the garden working on her own plot but available to answer questions. Gardeners are exchanging information about what works and what doesn’t in our microclimate. We occasionally bring in speakers for events open to all Mirrormont residents.

How is the Pea Patch funded and maintained?

The infrastructure was built using a $10,000 Small Grant from Community Partnerships & Grants (CPG). Only previous partners were eligible, and the MCA qualified based on the success of the CPG-funded Mirrormont Park. With this partnership grant, funds were matched with sweat equity and other donations. Our contributions made possible a project that wouldn’t be feasible with the grant money alone. 

The Pea Patch Committee has drafted rules for maintaining the garden. One rule is that each gardener is required to contribute 8 hours annually to maintaining the common space (aside from their plot).