Garden Rental

Peppers, tomatoes, garlic and other vegetablesGrow your own heirloom, exotic and pesticide-free vegetables. Gardening is a great way to meet new people and get some exercise. Rent a garden plot today!

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

Why Garden?

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

Annual Plots

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.

“Permanent” Plots

“Permanent” garden plots are available in some locations to allow gardeners to grow perennial fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus. “Permanent” 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 “permanent” gardens, you must have gardened successfully with us for at least one year.

Plot Sizes and Fees

Plot sizes range from approx. 200 ft. sq. up to 10,000 ft. sq.. To help defray the costs of tilling, staking, providing water, and administration, gardeners pay nominal rental fees. Rental fees range from $20 for  up to  $ 252 for 10,000 ft. sq. plots. No refunds are given. Insufficient funds fees (NSF) will be passed on and a $ 25.00 fee assessed + cost of plot.

Garden Locations

We currently have garden plots for rent in the cities of Milwaukee, Oak Creek,  Wauwatosa, and West Allis. 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.

For a Google Map page showing the locations of the Community Gardens, click here.

New Gardeners

If you did not rent a garden last year and would like to request a garden for 2015, download and fill out a Garden Request Form: Garden request form 2015  Please note that some of our gardens have very few open plots.

The garden rental staff will assign a plot to you after April 15th when plots become available for new gardeners to rent.  You may call earlier but be mindful that we may not have an answer for you until after April 28th.

In general the garden plots do not open before the third week of May.

New gardeners will be assigned plots as they become available, but not before pre registration for returning gardeners is complete on April 15th

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, during the off-season.  If your phone call is during regular UWEX hours  (8:30AM – 4PM) and you need immediate assistance please dial “0″ and an operator can take your message.

Hmong speaking assistance will be available Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9:30-11:30am.

Fall/Winter – 2015 Garden Desk Office Hours
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday Closed
Friday Closed

Office is closed during the lunch hour (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm).

Please call the garden rental phone line 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:

2015 Garden Plot Rules and Guidelines

A printable version of the rules and guidlines can be accessed from the following link: 2015 Garden Rules and Guidelines

Things to remember:

  • You must renew by April 1st to get the plot you were in the prior year.
  • In General the garden plots may not open before the third weekend of May
  • GARDENS WILL CLOSE on the third weekend of OCTOBER for all annual plots.

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

Oak Creek at Forest Hill is 414-766-7699 crime stoppers or 414-762-8200 dispatch

NOTE: In the case of a personal threat call 911.

 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.

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

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.

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.  Burlap does not decompose soon enough to be left in an annual non-permanent plot. Non-decomposing materials get caught up in our equipment and requires 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.

No Burning of anything in your garden plots. Fires are discouraged

Trees, large shrubs and tall structures that obstruct light in other garden plots including, fruit trees, are not allowed in any permanent or other plots.

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 taken away, at the end of the gardening season.

Parking (at Timmerman, FireFly Ridge, Kohl Farm, Oack Creek,  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 garden staff gardeners will not be allowed to garden in the community plots, and a fee will be assessed.

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

Garden Rental office contact       
Phone number: 414-256-4606

Mailing address: UWEX  Garden Rentals
                            9501 W WatertownPlank Rd Bldg A
Wauwatosa WI 53226



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