Below is a sample contract for a community garden.  Information in brackets is to be determined by individual gardens, as appropriate for their use.

Sample Community Garden Contract

[Name of Community Garden] Contract Rules, Terms, and Conditions for Participation


The [organization/garden manager] is the highest governing authority at the [Name of Community Garden].

Breaking any rules, terms, and conditions is cause for exclusion from the garden and loss of your plot.

  1. You will receive one verbal warning from the garden manager.
  2. If no response or correction has been made, you will receive written notice two weeks later.
  3. In another two weeks, if no response or correction has been made, you will receive written final notification that you have forfeited your gardening privileges and plot.
  4. You will be allowed to reapply for another garden plot only after one year, and only at the discretion of the garden manager.

Rules, Terms, and Conditions for Participation

If accepted as a gardener, I will abide by the following rules, terms, and conditions:

  1. I use this garden at the sole discretion of [Name of Community Garden]. I agree to abide by its policies and practices.
  2. The fee for the use of the garden is [dollar amount] per plot, per year [period of time], due on or before [date]. Fee for half a year after [beginning July 1 or some other specified date] is [dollar amount]. There are no refunds.
  3. Once I have been assigned a plot, I will cultivate and plant it within two weeks. I will garden year round. My plot cannot be left fallow or unused for any period of three weeks or longer, more than one time a year.
  4. My plot is [size of plot] feet. I will not expand my plot beyond this measurement or into paths or other plots. I will keep all my plants within the limits of my garden plot and will not allow any plants to grow more than six feet high. I must keep my plot free of weeds, pests and diseases.
  5. Anything I bring from my home I will take back home. I will not bring household trash and leave it at the [Name of Community Garden].  Furthermore, I will keep my plot, paths, and surrounding areas clean and neat. I will completely separate my trash into three groups:
    1. Dead plants, leaves, and other green waste plant parts;
    2. Rocks, stones, and asphalt; and,
    3. Paper, plastic, cardboard, wood, metal, etc. I will put each type of trash only in the areas designated specifically for each.
  6. If I now have more than one plot, I will give up my additional plots by the end of this gardening year [specified date].
  7. I will not plant any illegal plant. I will not smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, use illegal drugs, or gamble in the garden. I will not come to the garden while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. I will not bring weapons or pets or other animals to the garden.
  8. Guests and visitors, including children, may enter the garden only if I accompany them. They must follow all rules, terms, and conditions stated here. I will supervise my children at all times when they are in the garden. I am solely responsible for the behavior of my guests.
  9. The garden manager will assign me general garden maintenance tasks each month, and I must complete them by the end of the month that I am assigned them.
  10. I will water my plot according to water-wise guidelines. (If I use more than the recommended amount of water, I will pay a fee each month to cover the cost of this additional water.
  11. I will attend the regular [weekly/monthly/bimonthly/quarterly] garden club meetings. If workshops are offered, I will attend at least one on each of the following topics: soil preparation and maintenance, watering the vegetable garden, and pest and disease control.
  12. I will not apply any pesticides in the garden without the approval of the garden manager.
  13. I will not make duplicate keys of any locks at the garden or give my key or lock combination to another person.
  14. I will not take food or plants from other gardeners’ plots. I will not take anything from the garden that is not rightfully mine.
  15. I will respect other gardeners, and I will not use abusive or profane language or discriminate against others.
  16. I will work to keep the garden a happy, secure, and enjoyable place where all participants can garden and socialize peacefully in a neighborly manner.
  17. I forfeit my right to sue the owner of the property.


I have read and understand the application and accept these rules, terms, and conditions stated above for the participation in the [Name of Community Garden].

Signed: [Gardener] ____________________________________

Date: _______________

Approved: [Garden Manager] __________________________________

Date: _______________


To download a copy of this sample contract, click here!

Contract last updated 7/2003.