London Community Gardens Program Guidelines

Garden Rules

By signing the garden rental contract, gardeners agree to the following rules. By adhering to these rules, the City creates an inclusive and thriving community gardens program that benefits all participants. Monthly garden inspections, completed by City Staff, will ensure all gardeners are following these rules.

  1. Agreement
    To participate in the community gardens program, all gardeners must return their signed rental agreement to customer service within two weeks of registration. Contact information must be up to date and operational. Gardeners agree to indemnify and hold the City of London harmless from any liability, loss, damage or claim that arises on their own Community Garden or results from the direct use of their garden plot by themselves or individuals that they invite onto their garden plot.
  2. Orientation for New Gardeners
    All new gardeners must attend the mandatory orientation in April. This session provides important information and tips for a successful gardening experience. Details about the April session will be provided at registration. Gardeners who register after the April orientation session will have the opportunity to participate in an alternate session.
  3. Plant Selection 
    It is strictly prohibited to plant cannabis/marijuana, or any species listed as invasive or as a weed by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council or the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. This helps maintain the ecological balance and overall well-being of the parks.

    It is acceptable to plant perennials for food production, as long as they are not woody species (trees or shrubs).

  4. Plot Maintenance
    It is expected that gardeners are in their gardens during the month of May and have started to do some work (working of ground, weeding, planting) in their plot by the long weekend in May. The first inspection will take place immediately following the long weekend in order to determine if there are any abandoned plots that can be reassigned.

    Gardeners are responsible for and expected to use the entire area of the plot they rent and must keep plots neat and tidy. Gardeners are expected to visit their plots at least twice per week and continually weed and maintain their plot until the end of the season.

    Garden plots cannot extend beyond the borders of the plot, including into the pathways, into neighbouring plots, or outside the garden boundary. Control of all perennials to prevent spreading is expected. Delineations between plots must be maintained.

    If temporary fencing is used around gardens, the grass and weeds growing up and through the fence must be regularly removed.

    The gardens are to be used for gardening only. The City of London is not responsible for lost or stolen tools or plants.

  5. Reporting Illness or Vacations
    If you are unable to tend your plot for a period of time due to illness or vacation, you must report your absence to and request assistance from the garden ambassador to help with weeding and watering.
  6. Yard Waste and Composting
    Yard waste must be bagged in paper yard waste bags (supplied by the gardeners) and be placed for pickup in designated locations only. Yard waste cannot be left in a pile anywhere within communal areas. Yard waste pickup schedules will be posted on garden bulletin boards and can be found on our collection calendar page.

    Personal composters are permitted as long as they are kept within the plot boundaries, are cared for, and do not attract wildlife.

  7. Communal Areas 
    It is essential that communal areas and pathways are clean and well-maintained. Dispose of all waste appropriately and respect the shared spaces for the enjoyment of all gardeners. Planting in communal areas is NOT allowed. The City of London reserves the right to remove any plants or trees that are in communal areas without consultation.
  8. Water Use 
    Please be mindful of water usage. If possible, water during the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler to reduce evaporation. For gardens with taps, the water is turned on between 6 am to 9 pm only. If water tanks are low please report through the Service London portal or contact Individual rain barrels, if used, must have proper covers/screens so wildlife cannot access the water. Water must be regularly used from the barrels to prevent standing water issues.
  9. Pesticides, Herbicides and Fertilizers
    Any products used must be organic and follow the Canadian Organic Standards
  10. Garden Structures 
    Gardeners are not allowed to build any permanent structures within or around their plots. Any temporary structures should not exceed a height of six feet or be made of rebar or sharp metal. Fencing materials used must be safe and secure to allow proper maintenance by Parks Operations around the plots. Gardeners are discouraged from using brightly coloured fence materials such as orange plastic snow fence. When replacing fencing more natural coloured fencing is encouraged. ALL fencing must be maintained within the plot boundaries so maintenance/mowing around the plot can occur. Any fencing that falls outside the plot boundary or interferes with mowing will be removed without notice. Padlocks and other locking devices are not allowed.

    All structures and fencing are to be removed at the end of the season. If approved, gardeners can store materials in a neat pile within the garden plot.

  11. Fall Cleanup
    To maintain cleanliness and organization in the community gardens, it is mandatory to complete a fall-clean up by the end of September each year. This includes removing all plant debris, thoroughly weeding the entire plot, and tidying the plot for the winter season. All fencing and structures must be removed at the end of the season (see Garden Structures #11). Gardeners must notify If they are unable to complete the fall clean-up by the end of September for any reason. Inspections will take place throughout October and except for late crops all other parts of the gardens must be cleaned out. Gardeners must pass a final inspection in order to register for the following year.
  12. Code of Conduct
    The City of London R-Zone Policy is in effect within all Community Gardens: Take responsibility for your actions and respect people, animals, plants, and property while using City facilities, programs, and parks. Report inappropriate activities to City of London Staff. For more information, please visit

    The following behaviours are prohibited in London Community Gardens:
    •    Being disorderly, intrusive, rude, or threatening
    •    Damaging or vandalizing plants, equipment, and/or property
    •    Taking flowers or produce without permission from the plot owner
    •    Selling flowers or produce at the garden
    •    Smoking or vaping in or within 9 meters of a park amenity (including a garden)
    •    Using speakers for any purpose, including speakerphones
    •    Driving on pathways
    •    Drinking alcohol in parks including at community gardens

  13. Reporting a Problem/Issue
    If you are being threatened or witness criminal activity call 9-1-1.

    Report all maintenance issues to the Service London Portal at These would include reporting of broken taps or hoses, empty water tanks, garbage, vandalism, etc.

    To report issues related to homeless individuals in distress contact London Cares at (519) 667-2273 (CARE).

    To contact the Community Garden Coordinator with non-emergency issues email or call (519) 661-2489 ext. 5336. Your call and email will be answered Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

  14. Garden Ambassadors
    Most gardens will have a volunteer Garden Ambassador that can make themselves available to answer any questions about the gardens, assist with tending plots if gardeners are sick or on vacation, and generally act as a liaison with City Staff. If your garden has an Ambassador, the City will identify them. To find out more information about the Ambassador Program please contact the Garden Coordinator at
Last modified:Thursday, July 04, 2024