Marlboro Community Garden

Rules and Regulations


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1. Mission Statement The Marlboro Community Garden (MCG) is dedicated to the support of recreational community gardening. It enables gardeners to grow produce using best gardening practices. Benefits include preservation of green space and production of quality produce as members work collaboratively and share information about gardening techniques. The MCG fosters community pride and provides an educational forum for the members to expand their horticultural knowledge. It encourages cross-cultural and inter-generational connections.

2. Description The Marlboro Community Garden is operated by the Marlboro Shade Tree Committee (MSTC) under Section 337 of the Code of the Township of Marlboro. A volunteer manager* serves at the pleasure of the committee. The community garden is comprised of 106 individually assigned plots within a township park at 82 Tennent Road, Morganville, NJ 07751. Members who purchase a plot agree to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the Marlboro Shade Tree Committee.

Plots are 12 inch raised beds with either 40 or 80 square feet of gardening space. Four of the plots are 24 inches in height to accommodate those with physical limitations. Garden features include a protective fence with locking gates, common pathways, compost bins, water hardware, common tool storage and seating areas. There is also a dedicated area for disposal of plant material not appropriate for composting.

At least one garden plot is managed by volunteers or a civic group for the purpose of supporting food pantries.

Special gardens at the site include a perennial garden, a pollinator garden, a communal herb garden, and a monarch butterfly way station.

The garden is open every day from dawn until dusk.

3. Tools, Supplies and Equipment The garden shed contains tools and other supplies for use by the members, including a first aid kit. The tools are for use at the garden and should be returned to the shed free of soil and in good condition for use by the next gardener. If any tools or equipment are damaged during use, the garden manager should be notified to facilitate repairs and/or replacement. Gardeners are welcome to bring their own tools to the garden. However, personal tools may not be left behind upon the gardener’s departure. The MCG will not be responsible for personal tools left behind. Stools and tool carts should be stored up against the fence and not in the common pathways.

4. Gardener Responsibilities Gardeners are responsible for using the space provided to them following best gardening practices. These include planting appropriate crops as the gardening season progresses. The crops must be watered, weeded, checked for insect infestations and other pathogens, and harvested in a timely fashion. Whether or not a family wishes to plant only summer crops (May), plot maintenance begins on March 1 and continues through November 30. Dead, damaged or diseased plant material is to be removed promptly. Any plot that is not adequately planted by June 1 will be offered to a new family. Current members who wish to return for the following season, must abide by the above guidelines. Also, plots must be cleared of all dead plant material and ornaments, and the soil covered to protect it from winter desiccation no later than November 30. Cold weather crops may remain as long as they are viable. Plant supports that are left at the garden should be stored in the bed and may not interfere with use of the common pathways. Following that date, umbrellas, compost sifters and other garden ornaments and tools will be stored in the shed. It will then be dangerous to enter the shed and the lock will be changed for winter. The MTSC reserves the right to recycle/discard any accessories/plant material not removed on a timely basis.

Plants considered invasive, such as mint and horseradish, should not be planted in the beds.

Weeds in the common pathways for three feet in every direction around the bed need to be removed or controlled with cardboard and/or wood chips.

When the water hoses are used, it is critical that the hose lines remain in the pathways and do not cross into neighboring plots. When a gardener has finished using the water, the hoses should be rewound, and the water turned off. Gardeners should manipulate ONLY the green knobs on the hydrants.

The garden is surrounded by a protective fence with a locking gate. Members will have combination access. Please pull the gate closed while there to keep small mammals such as
rabbits and groundhogs from entering the garden. The last member to leave is responsible for locking the gate regardless of the time of day.

Should a gardener hire someone to help with the care of his/her space, the gardener must be present while the work is being done. Hired help should never be given the combinations to the locks, and the gardener is responsible for locking the gate when the work is completed.

In the spirit of a community garden, members are expected to assist with weed control in common areas, compost production and other general needs of the garden. Every member family is required to perform at least one volunteer service during the season. Opportunities to volunteer will be published via the garden email.

Gardeners are responsible for all notices published in the email. It is imperative that each member read and attend to emails from the garden manager. If you are gardening with friends or family members who do not receive email or are not comfortable with English, they must be made aware of the content.

5. Application Process Members in good standing, i.e., who have maintained their spaces and fulfilled their volunteer requirement, will be mailed an invoice by Marlboro Township early in the new year. This invoice will include a Garden License (GL) number. This number is independent of the plot number(s) assigned to that family. The document will also include the legally required Hold Harmless Form. To reenroll in the garden, members must return the fee and sign the Hold Harmless, and these must be received by the township by the date published in the garden email, which will usually be the end of February.

New families should complete the application below these rules and regulations. Those who attend an orientation session held at the garden during early March will be offered space as it becomes available and in the order in which the applications were received.

When all new families have been accommodated, and space has been set aside for civic groups, returning gardeners will be offered the opportunity to increase their garden space up to two plots.

Plots that are abandoned during the season will be categorized as donation plots and offered to gardeners at no fee. The produce from the plot must be shared with food banks. Taking care of a donation plot does not entitle the gardener to keep that space for the succeeding year.

Garden fees are $40 for 40 square feet of space, $30 for seniors (60+), and $70 for 80 square feet of space, $50 for seniors. Non-residents should add $10 per plot to the above fees. No refunds will be offered.

6. Compost. The MCG uses a four-bin composting system. The bins are labeled OPEN, CLOSED, BROWNS and FINISHED. Members are encouraged to add material to the bins marked OPEN and to cover them generously with BROWNS. A list of appropriate and inappropriate additions will be distributed via the garden email. All materials added to the bins must be cut into four to six inches pieces and be free of diseases or insect infestations. Weeds with seed heads should not be added to the compost bins. When enough compost is ready, workdays will be announced to screen the material.

Plant materials not appropriate for composting should be taken to the garden Dump or removed from the garden premises and disposed of by the member. Plant material must not be placed in the trash can.

8. Fertilizers and Soil Amendments Plot holders should consider having their soil tested periodically to assess soil pH and nutrient levels. Amendments and fertilizers may then be added based on the recommendations of the Rutgers Soils Laboratory. A fertilizer is a material that contains one or more plant nutrients. An amendment improves the soil’s tilth or structure. Compost is an amendment.

Gardeners should research fertilizers before they use them. Some promote leaf growth, others improve fruiting. Amendments such as lime and peat moss will affect the pH of the soil.

9. Pesticides and Disease Control Plant problems can be greatly reduced by regularly monitoring for signs of diseases or pests. The MCG manager will assist with identifying problems. Control measures should be taken only after proper identification has been made and chemical products should be used as a last resort after physical, cultural and biological controls have been tried. Fact Sheets describing these methods are available at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension website, Rutgers.njaes. Click on Publications. The Monmouth County Master Gardener Helpline can be contacted at or at (732) 303-7614.

It is the legal responsibility of anyone who uses a purchased pesticide to follow the instructions and cautions on the label. This includes appropriate timing of use, mixing of the formula if pertinent, amount of application, repeat applications, and days to harvest after application. The use of any spray product is prohibited on windy days. Homemade concoctions are to be used at the gardener’s risk.

10. Planting Etiquette Tall and dense crops should not be planted so that they shade a neighbor’s garden. Spreading plants may not obstruct the pathways. The MSTC reserves the right to remove plants that obstruct the pathways. Ripe fruit that falls onto the pathways should be removed. It is unsightly and indicative of a neglected garden. Gardeners need to obtain the consent of their neighbors before they construct trellises between beds across the pathways. This pertains even if both beds belong to the same member. The garden manager should be consulted before trellises across pathways are constructed.

11. Garden Conduct Members will always respect other gardeners and their plots when on the community garden grounds. Members are not permitted to pick produce from plots other than their own without permission. Those who wish to have their produce harvested for a food pantry should notify the garden manager. Participants may not engage in smoking, speaking with abusive or profane language, damaging other plots or garden property, using illegal drugs or cultivating illegal plants on MCG grounds. Non-service pets are not allowed within the fenced area. If you wish to take phone calls or listen to music, please use earbuds. Do not leave car motors running in the parking lot.

Gardeners are encouraged to form relationships with their neighbors. This facilitates watering and harvesting assistance due to time spent away from the garden for vacations, illness or other family needs.

12. Surrogate Gardeners and/or Visitors Gardeners agree to supervise any visitor brought into the MCG. If a gardener has someone taking care of her/his plot during an absence, she/he is responsible for the behavior of the surrogate. Surrogates may only enter with the permission and knowledge of a member gardener.

Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and young children should be monitored at all times. Please instruct your children that when they accompany you to the garden, they are coming to work with you, not to wait for you. It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to determine whether a child is prepared to use the tools in the shed in a safe manner.

13. Agreement to Abide by These Rules Gardeners will abide by any additional rules and regulations posted by the MSTC. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of the plot. Submission of payment indicates willingness to abide by the above rules and regulations.

* The current manager is Ellen Simonetti mailto:
Revised December 2021