Start Gardening Your Plot

Before You Join a P-Patch

Step 1: Submit Your Annual Application (with fee) to the P-Patch program.

Gardeners are required to renew their participation every year. The application process occurs simultaneously citywide. NOTE: It is not prorated from the date that you are officially invited to participate.

Co-gardeners are allowed. They may not become the primary plot holder unless they have been co-gardening long enough that they would otherwise be assigned a plot from the interest list.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with P-Patch rules and the code of conduct.

By applying, you agree to all P-Patch program rules and requirements.

After You Have Received an Offer

Step 1: Officially join a P-Patch.

Once you have been offered a plot or invited to garden in a collective garden by a staff member, you will be given the name of an on-site contact. Please arrange to take a tour of the site with them. To learn more about the assignment process, see How to Sign Up.

Step 2: Start Gardening!

You are required to begin gardening within two weeks of being offered a plot or an offer to join a collective garden. You may grow any vegetables, small fruits, flowers, or herbs , but you should refer to the P-Patch Invasive Plant Guidelines before planting.

Remember: if something grows fast and spreads you are required to contain it!

No trees or shrubs are allowed. You will need to check whether your garden has additional plot restrictions in response to plants that have become invasive there.

Step 3: Maintain the garden all year.

You are responsible for maintaining the garden all year long. Active gardening must reflect the season, i.e. winterization and fall clean up, spring weeding and planting, summer maintenance, ongoing harvesting, etc.

Fall and Winter Gardening options: Please remove all non-organic material such as tomato cages, trellises, and the like. Choose one (or a combination) of the options below to help with weed suppression and to protect your soil from the winter rains. Tending the soil during the cool season pays dividends in the warmer one. Cover bare soil.

  • Option #1: Grow winter crops such as garlic, onions, or kale.
  • Option #2: Plant cover crops. These are also called green manure because in the spring you dig them into the soil to feed nitrogen and organic matter.
  • Option #3: Mulch/sheet compost to protect and build bare soil

Step 4: Volunteer at your P-Patch.

P-Patch gardeners are required to complete a minimum of eight hours of community volunteer work per year (counted Nov. 1 - Oct. 31). This work must happen in the collective areas of the garden (not inside an individual plot) either at a work party or on your own time. Up to four community hours can also be done outside of your P-Patch if the work supports the P-Patch Program. You can record your community hours on your P-Patch account. Ideas for fulfilling volunteer hours:

  • Participate in work parties to clean up common areas in the garden or help with the Giving Garden.
  • Work on projects for the upkeep and maintenance of garden infrastructure.
  • Be part of the garden volunteer leadership team (office liaison, plot monitors, giving garden lead, communications, new gardener orientation lead).
  • Help with fundraising (garden upkeep and improvements are funded by gardener fundraising efforts).
  • Plan and organize gardener social gatherings.

Step 5: Share the harvest!

P-Patch encourages sharing what you grow with family, friends, neighbors, and those in need. Most P-Patches have organized giving to provide fresh produce for people in need. Check in with a specific garden to see what they are giving and how. Remember the sale of what you grow is not allowed and only permitted through the P-Patch Market Garden Program.

If You Move or Can No Longer Garden

Address & Status changes: If you move, please let us know your new address and phone number. Call (206) 684-0264 and leave your new information with the 24-hour voice mail or email

What If I need to leave the garden?
If you find that you cannot use your plot, please notify the office as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate another gardener. A plot holder cannot give garden space to others.

Photo credit: Jungmin Choi, 2017 


Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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