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For Gardeners - FAQs

Gardener FAQs

How do I get the lock combinations?

Captains typically email these out early in the season. Be sure you are receiving our emails (check your spam folder!) or reach out directly to your captains for guidance.

What happens if I am away for a few days?

Communication is key! Our gardens all have stakes that say things like "please water" or "please donate" so you can mark when you are away and need help from other gardeners. This lets others know to water for you and/or to harvest your produce for donation while you are gone.

You can also communicate with a plot neighbor or your garden captain if you have any questions or concerns about being away.

Please keep in mind that while everyone is welcome to some help from time to time, YOU are primarily responsible for planting, tending, and harvesting your plot, keeping it free of weeds and pests and in generally good condition.


Please refrain from leaving up requests for help with watering or harvesting indefinitely.

Who can help me with general gardening questions?

Your captains are a great first resources - all of our captains have experience gardening at SCG, some for as much as a decade! Captains are happy to help answer general gardening questions or advice, and connect you with other experienced gardeners in your garden.

How do I plant before water is turned on?

Water turn-on is a cooperative effort with the City of Salem, as our gardens are tied to the full water infrastructure of the parks in which they are situated.

Please be patient with water turn on timing, and if you are hoping to plant early in the season (like cool-weather crops before last frost in April and early May) you may need to carry in your own water.

We are planning to test rainwater collection barrels at our garden this year, which may also provide access to water earlier in the season (and help reduce our total water consumption with the city).


As with most things, your captains will let you know key information liked expected water turn-on dates, and compost deliveries. Reach out to your captain(s) for questions or concerns.

What resources are provided by SCG?

Your annual plot fee and required two-hours of volunteer time covers your plot space, compost to amend your bed for the season, access to water and hoses, and access to commonly needed tools like shovels, spades, rakes, and watering cans.

We also host our annual seed swap early each spring giving you access to FREE seeds to get your garden started - many of which can be direct-sown to your plot and require no fancy lights or indoor seed-starting equipment.

What hardiness zone is Salem, MA? Zone 6b

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