Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension rents garden plots in many parts of the county. We also provide technical assistance to neighborhood groups that run their own community gardens. For more information about renting a garden, read the information below and contact the garden rental assistant at 414-256-4606 or email@example.com.
Gardens and green space are important in the urban environment. Residents at health care facilities, apartments and condominiums may not have the opportunity or space to garden. Unused urban open space can provide the needed land to build gardens.Gardens provide space to grow nutritious food and gardeners can save money on produce. Gardening is a great family recreational activity. Participants share traditions with each other and their children.
To learn more about the value of community gardening, read the “Evaluation of Community Gardens” by Jill Florence Lackey & Associates, February 1998. Copies are available from Dennis Lukaszewski at 414-256-4650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most plots are annual rentals available for the summer season from about May 25 to the 3rd Sunday in October. These plots are tilled and staked by the staff of the Cooperative Extension Urban Agriculture Program. You can keep the same plot from one season to the next if you renew your rental by April 1st.
Year ‘Round Plots
Year ’round garden plots are available in some locations to allow gardeners to grow perennial fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus. Year ’round plots also afford gardeners an opportunity to grow early and late season vegetables such as spinach and collards. These plots are rented from January through December. Gardeners are responsible for tilling and maintaining their plots. Tall structures and trees are not allowed. Plots should look tidy in winter. You can keep the same plot from one season to the next if you renew your rental by April 1st. To be eligible for our limited number of year ’round gardens, you must have gardened successfully with us for at least one year.
Plot Sizes and Fees
Plot sizes range from 400 square feet to 900 square feet. To help defray the costs of tilling, staking, providing water, and administration, gardeners pay nominal rental fees. Rental fees range from $24 for 400 square feet plots to $46 for 900 square feet plots. No refunds are given.
We currently have garden plots for rent in the cities of Milwaukee, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa. For a list of plot locations, sizes and rental fees, click on the location you want:
For a county-wide map of all garden locations, download the Community Gardens Map.
If you did not rent a garden last year and would like to request a garden for 2013, download and fill out a Garden Request Form. Please note that some of our gardens have very few open plots.
The garden rental staff will contact you after April 15th when plots become available for new gardeners to rent.
2012-2013 Garden Rental Office Hours
For gardeners who rented plots last year, regular Garden Rental office hours begin on February 28th. New gardeners must wait until after April 15th when plots become available for new gardeners to rent.
As of August 1st, 2012 the garden rental office is closed for the season. We will begin limited rental office hours in late December. If you need to contact the garden rental assistants, please leave a telephone voicemail message or send an email. We monitor the phone messages and email often but are not in the office regularly. If your phone call is during regular UWEX hours and you need immediate assistance please dial “0″ and an operator can take your message.
Hmong speaking assistance will be available on a limited basis.
|Spring 2013 Garden Desk Office Hours|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM to 12:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM to 12:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM to 12:00 PM|
|Friday||1:00 PM tp 4:00 PM|
Please call the garden rental office for updates on garden office hours.
The Garden Rental phone is: (414) 256-4606.
Emails & calls will be answered or returned in as timely a manner as possible.
Email address: email@example.com
Garden Rules and Guidelines
NO unattended sprinklers are to be allowed at hose ready sites.
Hand watering with a hose end sprayer or drip tape is recommended for larger gardens. Unattended sprinklers will be removed. The cost of water at the few hose ready sites has risen to the point of requiring that there be no use of unattended overhead sprinklers during the growing season. Options for non-irrigated gardens will be explored this year and we will be trialing non-hydrant water options next year (2013)
If there is a leaking or dripping faucet, or other water related problems, please report it quickly to the garden office so we might fix the problem in a timely manner. We have no control over low water pressure, or the county turning off the water at some point for other problems down the line.
No Orange fencing is allowed. Green and black and wire fence, OK.
Fencing. If you choose to use fence we recommend 12.5 gauge welded wire fencing, height of 4 feet. All fences in annual plots must be removed each year before the end of the season. Fall clean up can begin on the 3rd Sunday of October, and continues until winter weather sets in.
Do not use plastic mulch or carpet for weed suppression in annual gardens Newspaper or brown paper would be a better choice for weed suppression. Non-decomposing materials get caught in our equipment and require mechanical removal and sometimes costly repairs.
Garden pathways are to be maintained by the gardening community . Paths must be kept weeded. Pathways should have no planted material growing on them. All vegetable plantings should be kept inside your fence or garden plot area. Please be sure that all paths to water and other plots are passable and not fenced off.
No Littering. We must insist that you pick up your garbage, and remove it every visit to the garden. We do not have the staff to pick up the food wrappers, plastic bags, dirty diapers, etc. Please take ownership and pride in your garden space and respect the community at large.
Dog Owners: we prefer no dogs. If dogs must come to the gardens they must be leashed. Dogs in garden areas may create a health hazard, such as harmful bacteria on garden produce or the remote possibility of a dog bite. Garden debris, pesticides and other harmful materials may be lying in the garden areas and could be harmful to your dog. Loose dogs + community gardens are not a good mix.
Milk jugs and other water containers must be removed and thrown away, at the end of the gardening season.
Parking (at Timmerman, FireFly Ridge, Kohl Farm and Forest Hills) on the garden road is allowed if a second vehicle can pass by. Please be courteous to your fellow gardeners.
Garden Plot Appearance. Milwaukee County has made several complaints to us regarding storage and messy garden plots. We would like to prevent problems with Milwaukee County, our landlords. Please report garden plots, that are seemingly not maintained or those that seems abandoned, to the garden rental office. Describe the approximate plot location and we will investigate further.
A letter will be sent with a warning to clean-up, a description of the problem and a expected date of compliance. If clean up is completed by us, gardeners will not be allowed to garden in the community plots.
No Gleaning of left over crops. Gleaning is defined as gathering any usable parts of the crops that remain after the harvest. UW Extension Milwaukee County does not allow gleaning. Please observe this policy.
Reporting theft, vandalism, suspicious persons and other illegal non-emergency activities.
If you are gardening and see people that you do not recognize harvesting in nearby plots please call the municipal police or county sheriff and report the problem.
To assist the police, note the vehicle make, color and the license plate number, if applicable.
At Firefly ridge and Rawson Av gardens, the phone # for the Milwaukee County Sheriff dispatcher is: (414) 278-4788
All other gardens call non-emergency police at: (414) 933-4444
NOTE: In the case of a personal threat call 911!
GARDENS WILL CLOSE OCTOBER 20, 2013