Verano Garden Contract

Verano Garden Contract

The Verano Garden exists to provide an opportunity for Verano residents to garden in a communal setting. It is a place to work the earth alongside fellow residents you might not otherwise meet, and to share gardening knowledge. It is also an opportunity to increase sustainability by growing food locally, and by recycling garden green waste and community kitchen waste.

The rules below represent a common sense approach intended to maximize utilization of the garden plots, provide the largest opportunity possible for residents to garden, as well as provide flexibility for wider community participation in the garden and orchard. It is your obligation to understand and abide by these rules.

Failure to abide by these rules may be grounds for expulsion from the garden, at the discretion of the garden council, supported by the sole authority of the Verano Housing Office.


Establishing Membership:

  1. Only Verano residents are eligible for garden membership.
  2. Garden membership is on a semi-annual basis, from Oct 1 to March 31, and from April 1 to September 30.
  3. While a deposit is not required for membership, contract holders acknowledge that fees may be assessed to their Zot Account for damages and/ or maintenance required to bring the plot back to a condition of compliance.
  4. Work must commence in your assigned garden plot within 14 days from the date of completed membership, or the garden will be reassigned.
  5. Garden membership is for you and for your immediate family alone. You may, and indeed are encouraged to share gardening responsibilities with other members of the garden, as well as friends, but the contracted garden member is solely responsible for the state of the assigned plot and any charges incurred.
  6. One plot only per housing contract.
  7. You may not gift, reassign, or switch gardens with any person, whether garden member or not, all transfers are dealt with by the Housing Garden Liaison (Assistant Director of Apartment Life, Family and Community Programs).
  8. Assuming your garden is kept in good standing, you will be eligible to renew your membership for the next growing season.
  9. Garden members are responsible for providing their correct apartment number and a current email contact through which all garden correspondence will be sent.
  10. Any gardener wishing to give up their plot must notify the Garden Liaison to schedule a plot walk through. If the plot has been left in a reasonable state – as defined in the “Plot Rules” section below no fees will be assessed.
  11. Gardeners moving from Verano Housing should notify the Garden Liaison when they give their 45 day notice to the Housing Office.
  12. Any gardener who abandons their plot without proper notification will incur fees including, but not limited to:
    1. Cost of removing personal items, pavers or other gardening implements left behind
    2. Cost of staff hours required to return plot to acceptable condition for the next gardener
    3. $10.00 abandoned plot fee

General Garden Rules

  1. Maintaining your garden membership requires sustained gardening throughout the year in accord with the “plot rules” section below. Please read and follow them closely. If for some reason you are unable to garden due to temporary absence, vacation or the like, it is your responsibility to find someone reliable to perform these tasks, and you will be responsible for their work. Fellow gardeners are generally more than happy to help in these circumstances, so make friends with your neighbors.
  2. Plots that are not being actively maintained will receive a warning notice via email.
    1. Gardeners must resume active gardening within 14 days of the notice and must contact the Garden Liaison to acknowledge receipt of warning and intent to remain a Garden member.
    2. If a Gardener fails to contact the Garden Liaison and/ or fails to bring their plot into compliance within 14 days of the notice their plot will be reassigned.  
    3. Gardeners who lose their plot will have 7 days to remove any personal items and to clean plot up for the next gardener or they will incur charges.
  3. All members are responsible for signing up and completing to satisfaction one work task per quarter and attending one group work day per contract period. This is work identified by the council that is necessary to keep the garden and orchard functioning – such as composting, weeding, taking out trash, and other maintenance. However, members are also encouraged to suggest work they would like to do outside the normal list.  For instance, you can get credit for painting attractive garden signage, fixing something in disrepair, etc. One work task is a minimum of one hour while some tasks take longer.  
  4. All members must take good care of community resources, which includes, but is not limited to: shutting the garden gate, discouraging pests, cleaning and taking care of tools, emptying wheelbarrows after use, taking care of water spigots, keeping the area behind shed organized and hanging hoses. All tools must be cleaned and returned to the garden shed after use. The shed must be closed when you leave the garden.
  5. All community tools must be used in a safe manner. 
  6. ALL community members are required to understand and abide by composting and waste rules (please see rules below).
  7. Children must be supervised within the garden and orchard and should NOT be permitted near the shredder when in operation.
  8. Violation of the Garden and/or Plot rules is grounds for expulsion from the garden. Please read and follow the rules carefully.  These rules help insure a safe, orderly and well maintained space for everyone to garden in.  

All normal UCI and Verano Housing Rules apply within the garden. Any violation of those rules is grounds for expulsion from the garden.

Plot rules

  1. Gopher wire may be installed as needed to limit or eliminate gopher damage. Upon check out all wire must be removed unless it is installed in one of the following recommended manners:  
  2. Care of Hoses: When finished watering the water must be turned off at the spigot and pressure released from the hose.  The hoses are not designed to be under constant pressure. Hose failures where the spigot has been left on can result in large flooding events.  
  3. No timed watering is allowed as each spigot needs to be left free for other gardeners to use. Excessive over-watering is not only wasteful but creates problems for other gardeners and should be avoided.  Be water wise.
  4. Trellises are allowed, but must be a single plane, and not a box, an overhang, etc. Trellis height must be kept under 4 feet, must not shade other plots, and any temporary structures in the garden must be of safe, sturdy, and suitably purposed material which isn’t an eyesore (no recycling of metal components, no glass, no loose nails, no garish plastics, etc.) Wood is good. Shading rules apply to tall plantings such as sunflowers, corn, etc. These should be planted in an east – west direction to avoid shading other plots. A trellis may be up to 4 feet in height in the east – west direction provided it does not cast any shade on a neighboring plot.
  5. Pavers, brick etc. can be used for internal paths, however, these should not be anchored permanently, must be easy to remove and must be removed in order to reclaim your deposit upon checking out of the garden.
  6. No permanent fences or other structures may be erected. No concrete, no building materials which are difficult to remove, nothing that will impact the soil for the subsequent gardener. The intention of the garden is to be a place to grow, not a place to landscape significantly.
  7. Invasive plantings must be kept under control. These include all Mints, Comfrey, Pennyroyal, Lemon Balm and similar plants and herbs.
  8. No permanent plantings. Trees may only be planted in pots with a barrier bottom to prevent rooting into the soil under the pot. Trees may not cast shadows on neighboring plots. Some semi-permanent perennials like asparagus are okay but more aggressive larger plants, including artichokes or sugar cane, for example, are not allowed.  NO NEW GRAPE PLANTS ALLOWED– There are currently 3 plots with active grape vines- these are grandfathered in as they were planted before the new rules.   Herbs may be planted but must be kept small and contained.  
  9. This is an organic garden. All soil amendments, pesticides, herbicides etc. must be organic.  You must check the label that the product is organic and if you are unsure about the nature of an item please ask a council member.
  10. Maintaining the Aisles: Gardeners are responsible for weeding and mulching the aisles surrounding their plot. If the aisle is shared with another gardener, each gardener is responsible for half of the aisle next to their plot. If the plot borders the fence, then the area from the plot to the fence must be kept clear. Gardeners with plots next to the shed, concrete slab storage area or the compost and plant materials pile have full aisles and are responsible for weeding the entire aisle. Plots in the center aisle must maintain an area 3 feet from the plot.  Maintenance of the aisles includes mulching with wood chips as needed.  Note: wood chips are not recommended as garden mulch.  
  11. Utilizing the Garden Resource: Gardens must be well utilized, well maintained and reasonably weeded. A well utilized plot has edible plantings growing in 70% of the plot, with a minimal presence of herbs and ornamental (non-edible) plants.  The plots must be kept clear of invasive weeds including Bermuda grass and Bindweed.  Gardeners may be asked to remove intrusive, invasive or unsafe plants.
  12. Plot Boundaries: Plantings and any boarding materials or support structures must be within the obvious wooden boundaries which define each plot. Plants must not spill over into other plots or pathways. You may not plant on the paths.
    1. The wire must be 8 – 10 inches below the working surface of the soil in all areas of the plot. This includes the corners and sides of the plot. This means the edges and corners must be squared when digging.  The wire must come up above the soil around the edges or be attached to the 2 X 6 wooden border with heavy staples  (Contact the council for assistance and clarification).  
    2. The wire may be installed straight down around the perimeter of the plot to a depth of 2 feet. This stops gophers without having to run the wire under the entire plot and prevents the wire from getting damaged while gardening.  It is hard digging however.
  13. Noise making or visually distracting devices used as repellents for gophers, birds or rodents are not allowed if they are audible or visible to other gardeners.
  14. Excess soil:  If you decide to remove any soil for any reason from your plot it must be taken to the dumpster. The Council discourages gardeners from removing a large amount of soil from plots.  Dumping soil anywhere in the garden or orchard is not allowed without express permission of the garden council.  
  15. Tools must be cleaned after use and returned to their appropriate place and stored in an organized manner.  
  16. No fires may be lit for any reason within the garden.
  17. Theft from other gardens or vandalism is grounds for immediate expulsion. No gardener may enter another gardener’s plot without express permission. Please be respectful and walk on the pathways, not through the plots.
  18. If a garden plot is in violation of these rules, the Garden Liaison will email a notice to the member(s) assigned to the plot advising them that the plot is out of compliance.  The gardener must correct the situation within 14 days to the satisfaction of the garden council or the gardener will relinquish the plot.

Community Compost and Waste- New composting system in place- we will update this section soon!!!