The Help Center
Questions? Here’s an Answer!
What is a Gardener in Good Standing?
Gardeners in good standing pay a yearly plot rental fee, fulfill their community service commitment, and actively cultivate and maintain their plots from May through October.
Currently, the yearly rental fee is $90 for a full 10’ x 40’ plot ($45 for a half plot).
The annual community service commitment is 8 hours for a full plot and 4 hours for a half plot. Community service hours must be completed by the end of the last work party in October.
The spring cultivation benchmark is May 1st. “Cultivation” is the work of clearing weeds, preparing the soil, planting, and caring for your plot. Depending on spring weather and crop choice, many MCGA gardeners start planting between April 1st and June 1st. We would like to see clear evidence that gardeners are present and actively preparing for the season by May 1st. Plots not worked by this benchmark may revert to the rental pool. While gardeners are required to cultivate or otherwise maintain their plots from May through October, they may cultivate year-round. However, the water is turned off at the end of October.
During the gardening season, gardeners in good standing maintain their plots and keep their borders free from weeds that may infringe on their neighbors.
How do I Fulfill My Service Commitment?
MCGA members commit to complete a minimum of 8 community service hours per full plot (4 hours per half plot) every gardening season. This work allows us to support the food bank garden and maintain the grounds. Members are encouraged to do more if they are able, as there is usually more work to be done than there are required hours.
Current service options are listed in the MCGA application. The organization runs small work parties; there are multiple opportunities to complete community service hours. If you have any questions, please contact us.
How do I meet the May 1st Cultivation Benchmark?
“Cultivation” is the work of clearing weeds, preparing the soil, planting, and caring for your plot. Depending on spring weather and crop choice, many MCGA gardeners start planting between April 1st and June 1st. We would like to see clear evidence that gardeners are present and actively preparing for the season by May 1st. Plots not worked by this benchmark may revert back to the rental pool.
Is There Mulch Available to Gardeners?
Wood chips and leaves are available in the concrete eco-bins on the southwest side of the garden. These are free to gardeners.
How Can we Help Conserve Water at MCGA?
The wise use of resources, especially water, includes replacing gaskets and leaking hoses when needed. While watering, gardeners must remain on-site at all times. Leaving water on unattended is prohibited.
Report faulty spigots to your board so they may be repaired. Water-wise gardening will cut down on our water bill, which is our largest expense.
Food bank managers offer tutorials about effective watering during work our parties – please stop by or ask how you can efficiently water your garden.
What About Weeding?
Gardeners must keep their borders free from weeds, vines, or other plants that will creep into neighboring plots. Quack grass, bindweed, raspberries, and buttercup are especially invasive therefore, gardeners should not let them spread. Gardeners should remove these weeds/plants from their plots, borders, and adjacent paths.
Marymoor Park prohibits us from growing comfrey, which is a nuisance weed. Please remove any comfrey growing in your plot by digging up the entire root structure.
Gardeners who grow raspberries must keep them trellised and contained within their plot boundaries.
What are the Good Neighbor Practices
Be polite, be friendly, and be respectful to your neighbors. This tradition makes MCGA a welcoming and robust community. You will share faucets, hoses, and maintain the border areas between your plot and the adjacent one. Please be aware of how your tall plantings are placed (corn, sunflowers, sunchokes, trellises) so they do not shade a neighbors’ garden. Maintaining the garden border is a community effort. We ask that gardeners on both sides of a border share the work of weeding it.
What Organic Practices does MCGA Follow?
We follow Washington State University's (WSU's) guidelines on Integrated Pest Management ("IPM"). IPM is a set of sustainable agricultural practices to reduce health risks and environmental impacts. For more information, click the following link: https://ipm.wsu.edu/.
Gardeners may use products approved for organic gardening that are OMRI certified, such as fertilizers, compost, and amendments. Examples of organic products for controlling pests include OMRI certified products like Sluggo and Safer Insecticidal Soap.
Are There Community Tools For Me to Use?
Hoses on the hose hangers by the faucets are considered "public." Hoses kept in gardener's plots are "private". Hoses should be detached from the spigot when not in use. Never enter another gardener's plot to "borrow" hoses or tools without prior permission.
Foodbank tools are primarily for use with Hopelink activities. If gardeners use them, they must return them to the food bank tool stand and store them properly. MCGA Wheelbarrows must be returned to the west end of the garden near the parking lot. Please keep wheelbarrows from blocking the "Clean Green" bin.
May I Bring My Children to the Garden?
We welcome children to the garden. To ensure their safety, they must always be supervised by an adult, especially in the parking lot and along the north and south roads.
Do not allow children to play with garden tools or wheelbarrows.
Do not allow children to climb fences or dirt piles, enter another gardener's plot, or handle another gardener's crops.
Do not allow children to play in the water or operate hoses and spigots.
Do not allow children to enter the food bank garden areas.
What if I Witness a Crime or Something is Vandalized or Stolen?
Reporting theft or vandalism is a two-step process at Marymoor Park.
First, call the King County Sheriff’s office and report the incident. You may also file a report online. Once you receive a case number, then, please report the incident to the park office.
King County Sheriff’s office: 206/296-3311
Marymoor Park office: 206/477-7275,
If you see a crime in progress, call 911.
What if My Neighbor is Negatively Impacting My Ability to Garden?
Fill out the contact form. A mentor will help address the situation.
What is the TLC "Tender Love and Care" Committee?
Our Tender Loving Care (“TLC”) crew will help “gardeners in good standing” who have a medical/other issues that temporarily prevents them from tending their plots. You can request this service by filling out the contact form. TLC does not maintain plots for gardeners who go on vacation. TLC will not weed or water your garden while you are on vacation, please reach out to friends or your plot neighbors. Gardeners commonly take turns watering each other’s plots when they are out of town. Furthermore, you can fulfill 25% of your service requirement by helping a neighboring gardener in this way, for a total of two hours for a full plot and one hour for a half plot.
May I Park on the Service Road?
You may not park your car on the service road, except to temporarily to load and unload objects for your garden. Move your vehicle and allow cars to pass. Be considerate of there are others who want or need to use the road.
Where Do I Dispose of Garbage and Garden Waste?
Dispose of weeds (no plastic or glass) in the “Clean Green” bin and trash in the dumpsters.
Please do not leave wheelbarrows in front of the “Clean Green” bin. The park crew needs that space clear so they can bulldoze it.
We currently do not have a recycling bin. In the interest of minimizing landfill garbage, please take recyclables with you when you leave and recycle them at home.
If you have garden items that can be reused, you can leave it on the picnic tables at the Northwest end of the garden. If nobody takes it in three days, please dispose of it properly.
What about Dogs in the Garden?
We love dogs, but dogs are not allowed in the garden. This includes the garden plots and paths that connect one section of the garden to the next. The north road (the gravel road that flanks X, A, B, and C sections) does not belong to us. It is a utility road controlled by the park. Park visitors can walk their dogs on that road, provided they are on a leash.
How Can I Update my Contact Information?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What am I Not Allowed to Do in My Plot?
Grow flowers or vegetables for commercial use.
Use tires for raised beds and other things.
Have open containers of water.
Have invasive plants such as English Ivy, Hops, or bamboo.
Have any plants on the King County Noxious weeds list.
What about Parking?
Marymoor Park requires all visitors to pay a fee for entering the park. You may pay the daily fee or buy a monthly, 3-month, 6-month, or yearly pass at the park office. To park in our parking lot we require an MCGA decal. You can get these at work parties and meetings throughout the year.