Each community garden plot comes with a requirement of garden work throughout the entire growing season that will support the maintenance and attractiveness of the Putney Community Gardens. These hours do not include the time spent in one’s own garden plot.
One may choose work hours from this list at any time (or during work parties when specific tasks are necessary to complete) or pick from any others jobs that arise throughout the season, posted on the sign board. You may even create work; provided a coordinator approves it. Some tasks will be open to teams, with a pre-approved amount of hours.
Weeding ~ The community gardens are very public and on display, we encourage every effort to have the gardens as attractive as possible. Members are requested to use various mulches as a way to reduce evaporation and to keep weeds down. Plots that are over grown with weeds are not attractive, and are a source of weed seeds. Weeding your own plot or your neighbors does not normally count towards work hours.
Watering ~ To conserve water please mulch your plots whenever possible, and please water during cooler parts of the day. Water the base of the plants rather than fanning the entire plot. Please note: while essential to growth, and especially important for starting plants and seeds – watering does not count toward garden hours. We all have to do it.
Stake Plots ~ All plots need a wooden stake hammered into each corner and string tied around the border of the plot. Most plots are 9’x20’, the large plots are 18 x 25, some are odd sizes, all paths are a min of 2’ wide. Items and tools needed are; hardwood stakes, string, a large hammer, scissors and possibly measuring tape (if not previously measured). Please inquire about availability of these items. It is helpful to use a long string to line up the stakes on multiple plots to maintain the position of the stakes. The timeline for this task is at the beginning of each season (Fall and Spring) and as new plots become available, and when stakes break. All plots need a number (laminated and stapled inside the plot boundaries to a stake) on one corner.
Path work ~ Paths north to south are 2’ wide and east west are 4’ wide except the wide paths.. All paths will need to be leveled and have cardboard (or other suitable weed block) and 3” or more of wood chips on top, leveled.
To lay paths; clear the area of weeds and debris and old chips, level with a flat shovel, place cardboard (or several layers of newspaper) to size directly on the level dirt and cover with a thick 4″ layer of wood chips. This task is necessary immediately after plots are staked.
Water Maintenance ~ This task includes; laying the hose out and connecting the system in the spring, setting up the pipe across the road, and the speed bumps. Making sure hoses and wands are in good condition. Timeline for this task is spring and ongoing throughout the season. In the fall the reverse order applies for removal and storage of the hoses and wands and valves, before cold weather. This is a team job, ongoing through the year.
Mowing ~ In order to keep the Gardens welcoming, the space around the Gardens must be kept clean and clear. This task includes clearing debris and mowing the grass around the compost bins and on the North side of the Gardens, along the flower row. Please inquire for further guidance on mowing locations. Timeline for this task is ongoing, at least once a month.
Compost Management ~ the compost bins are located along the East and West sides of the Gardens. Gardeners are encouraged to put their excess organic matter into the bins, combining equal parts green (living) matter to brown (dead) matter in layers no more than 4 inches thick. Maintenance of compost bins includes ensuring the ratio of green to brown matter is balanced (piles of compost must NOT become aerobic/moldy), stirring and poking holes for air and water as needed to accelerate soil decomposition. The creation of usable piles and the management of usable compost is a team effort. Construction of new bins may also be included in this task, though please consult with a PCG coordinator before doing so. Timeline for this task is ongoing, diligently checking bins at least weekly.
This is a team job, with ongoing work through the year.
Signs and Directory map ~ Posted on the main sign is a map of the garden plots with the names of each plot tender, along with an announcement area, and list of community jobs needing attention. Maintenance of such material, with the exception of the plot directory, will be ongoing. Other areas of the garden have signs for things like compost, water, chips etc. These all need refreshment and installation annually in the spring.
Fundraising ~ includes researching grants and other funding, grant-writing, and coordinating other creative fundraising efforts. Interested gardeners are encouraged to check with garden coordinators – we would create a subcommittee to explore fundraising options.
Workshops ~ The Gardeners may offer and host garden-related workshops open to the public, and for PCG gardeners. Time spent on designing and implementing any of these projects, (not event participation), counts toward community job hours, but must be approved by the Governing Committee or Coordinators.
Work Parties ~ Throughout the season, work parties are organized and announced usually, but not always, by the coordinators to attend to specific work jobs. The focus of the work varies depending on the needs of the garden. Past work parties have included path-work, eliminating knotweed, composting and others. A great way to complete hours, learn the workings of the garden and have fun.
Potlucks ~ Each year the gardens have had sumptuous potlucks, where everyone is invited to bring local food. Usually weekly, the potlucks are managed by a team of two or more gardeners. Please contact the coordinators if you are interested in being part of this team.
PCG Board meetings ~ Participation in these meetings is open to all PCG gardeners. The committee sets policy for the gardens, prepares information to be shared with members and turns ideas into actual events.
Please track hours completed by job description, date worked and number of hours by using the on-line system for reporting these hours. Check your email or contract for the URL.