Lakewood Garden is located just behind Lakewood Elementary School on the southwest side.  To get to the garden from Jackson Road, take Gralake south until it ends at the school. Lakewood is a perennial community garden with 10 plots.

MAP OF GARDEN:  Lakewood Map


SOIL: Soil testing done in 2010 showed Lakewood's soil to be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.3. Most vegetable crops prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss, will lower the soil pH. 15# sulfur is the recommended application for a full plot to lower pH to about 6.5 The soil is considered clay loam and has average nutrient holding capacity. 2.25# nitrogen is prescribed for a full plot at the beginning of the season with regular applications of nitrogen throughout.

INDIVIDUAL PLOT MAINTENANCE:  All gardeners are responsible for keeping weeds down on their plots and along the adjacent pathways. Various mulches may be used in your garden to inhibit weed growth, conserve water, and promote a hospitable microclimate for plants and worms. Marsh hay is usually available in the spring, delivered to the garden from a local grower for a reasonable fee. If interested in learning more about marsh hay deliveries or for more information about mulching, contact your site coordinator or the office.

GARDEN MAINTENANCE:  We are guests on this property. As such, we ask that you do not throw rocks or other debris into the mowed areas; instead, put rocks on the rock pile at the end of the garden. Please take all non-organic waste (plastic, fencing, etc.) home with you when you leave the site. Gardeners will be asked to help maintain unused plots and common areas from time to time. Help make the gardens beautiful this summer by maintaining your own plot and keeping the gardens free from debris, etc.

ANIMALS:  Since the garden is located near the woods, woodchucks and other animals may visit from time to time. If you fence, we recommend black/green plastic or wire fencing. For aesthetic reasons, please do not use orange construction fencing. For the best results, bury the fence 8" below ground and bend it away from the garden to stop animals digging underneath (remember to remove all fencing at the end of the season!).

WATER:  Water is provided at cost to Project Grow by Lakewood School. Hoses attach to a spigot on the side of the building near the playground. Uncoiled hoses can be a danger to the many children who frequent this area.  Please be considerate and coil up the hoses on the hose reel after every use. Do not leave hoses on the grass, as they can be seriously damaged by mower blades. If you spot a leak in the hose lines, either make the repairs yourself or notify the site coordinator.

Watering of gardens is never to be unattended; hose timers are prohibited.

COMPOSTING:  Any organic waste generated during the growing season may be tilled into the soil, placed in a designated compost area on-site, or taken home for composting by the city.  However, diseased plants should always be removed from the site, to minimize the presence of pathogens in the gardens. 

Please do not create renegade compost piles anywhere outside of your garden plot and do not discard of any organic or inorganic material in the woods.


COMMUNICATION: This is a community garden, and as such, we help each other out to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Expect a few phone calls asking for assistance with volunteer tasks like mulching the paths or cleaning up at the end of the season. In recent years, we have also used the garden group email list to make important announcements.  If you have not already notified us of your email address, let us know right away! Finally, e-newsletters will also contain important information about upcoming projects and events.

ABANDONED PLOTS: Plots that have not been seriously worked by June 1st or are overgrown with weeds taller than 18” at any point in the season will be considered abandoned and will be reassigned. Contact your site coordinator or the office if you are having problems getting started or if you have to abandon your plot.

FALL CLEAN-UP:  Perennial plots must be put to rest for the winter. Your plot must be cleared no later than the tend of the day on the third Saturday in October. In the fall, non-organic items must be removed from the garden and dead organic material removed or chopped up to compost in your plot. Perennial plants or annual plants that have not been killed by frost may remain. If you know you will not be returning, take away your personal belongings and clear out your entire plot. It is helpful to notify the director also, as perennial plots are always in great demand. Failure to clean your plot according to the guidelines set forth in the Member Handbook may result in expulsion from the garden.

Gardener Comments and Suggestions

  • I noticed something pretty special about our garden this year. If I'm not mistaken, we are a truly a multi-generational community with gardeners in their 20s, 30s (?), 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s(?) and 80s. This experience with all the wisdom it holds: technological to political environmental to horticultural makes the Project Grow experience priceless.