FAQ

FAQs for the General Public

  • When are the gardens open?
    • The Fenway Victory Gardens are open from dawn to dusk.
  • What is the admission fee for visiting the gardens?
    • The gardens are in a public park; there is not an admission fee.
  • Are there public spaces in the gardens?
    • Yes, there are public spaces in the gardens to relax and enjoy the historic park. There is also an Herb and Medicinal garden that is open to the public. However, it is locked overnight, and it is closed during the winter months and part of the shoulder seasons.
  • May I reserve the gardens for my wedding, baby shower, etc.?  
  • May I bring my household compost to your compost pile?
    • No. However, there are companies such as Bootstrap Compost who may be able to help you out. 
  • I’m interested in adding FGS to my annual gifting list. How can I make a gift?

FAQs for FGS Applicants

  • I’m interested in learning more about the historic Fenway Victory Gardens and/or adding my name to the waitlist for a garden plot. Where can I get more information?
  • Am I eligible for a garden in the Fenway Victory Gardens?
    • You are eligible if you are a Boston resident. Also, if you were a prior member, it would be important that you were a member in good standing when you departed the organization. 
  • How much of my time will gardening take?
    • It all depends on the design of your garden and what types of plantings that you choose. 
    • Shade gardens tend to be lower maintenance than full sun gardens.
    • Please note that per the FGS Guidelines and Regulations, gardens must be kept tended, in repair, weeded, and free of trash throughout the growing season. Additionally, adjacent row paths must be kept free of plants, weeds, trash, and mud (use wood chips).
  • What do I do when I am assigned a plot?
    • The day that you are assigned your plot, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the VP of the Park, Section Coordinators, and Area Directors. Also, the FGS Facebook page is a great place to pose questions to our community.

FAQs for FGS Members and Co-Gardeners

  • What resources would you recommend to help me get started as a new gardener?
    • Please continue to read below.
    • The Area Director and/or Section Coordinator assigned to your area of the park are great resources. 
    • Get to know your garden neighbors. They can be a wealth of information and very helpful too.
  • What tools should I have on hand and where should I keep them?
    • We recommend that you get a shovel, pitchfork, trowel, hand clippers, and a watering can.
    • For fencing projects you’ll need the following:
      • Posthole Digger (you can borrow one from FGS)
      • Wire cutter 
      • Hammer 
      • Tape measure
      • Level (you can borrow one from FGS)
    • There is a general rule that you shouldn’t leave anything in your garden that you won’t be upset about losing. The gardens are in a public space, and we do have instances of theft and vandalism. We recommend that you either lock up your tools or hide them out of sight. Some gardeners who live nearby take tools back and forth from home.
  • Will I be able to borrow FGS tools? 
    • All gardeners should own the recommended tools noted above. 
    • FGS does have some tools to lend (e.g. posthold diggers, tampers, etc.). Please check in with your Area Director and/or Section Coordinator for more info.
  • Where can I purchase plants and garden tools?
  • Where should I look to source seed packets and plants?
  • What official resources are available in Massachusetts?
  • When does the water get turned on and off in the Fenway Victory Gardens?
    • The water typically gets turned on in late April or early May and turned off in mid-October. The timing varies slightly from year to year depending on priorities of the City of Boston.
  • Where do I put large trash items such as wooden boards and fencing?
    • Metal items should be placed in the designated area for recycling (currently the designated area is near compost #3, which is closest to Agassiz Road). 
    • All other large items should be placed in the dumpster if available. If a dumpster is not available, please keep the items in your garden and contact your Area Director or Section Coordinator to discuss.
  • Where do I put rocks and other hardscaping that I do not want in my garden?
    • DO NOT put these in the trash barrels (Boston Parks and Recreation Department gets very angry at us for this).Please place these items along the fence in the Nursery. Though please do not block any walking areas or create any sort of tripping hazard. Also, if you have the time, please post photos on the FGS Facebook page so that other FGS gardeners will know that items are available.
  • What are invasives and where do I put them?
    • Learn more about invasives on the FGS website.
    • The best process is to pile them up somewhere in your garden plot so that they dry out and reduce in size and weight. 
    • You should always bag invasives and place them in the dumpster if we have one in the park. Otherwise, place the bag in a trash barrel.
  • Where do I put non-invasive materials that I do not want in my garden plot?
    • Any plantings that are in good shape should be placed in the Nursery so that another gardener could make use of the planting. 
    • If the material is dead, please put it in one of the composting rows of one of the three compost areas. 
    • If you have woody plant/tree materials, please pile those next to other wood materials in one of the three compost piles. Also, please cut up woody items as much as possible so that they’ll decompose more quickly.
  • Are there restrictions as to what I can plant? Where can I learn more about what is permissible in my garden?
    • There are restrictions related to height and invasives. Also, you should never shade your neighbor’s garden. 
    • Additionally, there are many other guidelines including those related to garden structures and fencing.
    • As an FGS member, each year you are required to review the FGS Guidelines and Regulations. Please become familiar with the document and ask your Area Director or Section Coordinator any questions that you have.
  • I often have visitors ask me about the Gardens. Where should I direct them?
    • Please point them to the FGS website and/or the FGS bulletin board at the main entry to the park. 
    • Learn a bit about the Fenway Garden Society yourself as we are the stewards for the Fenway Victory Gardens. It is interesting and fun to learn more about the organization of which you are a member.
  • Is access to my garden restricted after the growing season and over the winter?
  • May I drive my vehicle into the park to drop off supplies?
    • Yes, but you may only park your vehicle for 20 minutes. If this is abused, we may all lose the privilege and you definitely don’t want to be responsible for that happening.
    • Also, you may not block paved walkways as those need to be kept clear and fully accessible. 
  • I understand I am responsible for maintaining a secure gate and fence lines. Where can I find help on building or repairs?
    • We have some very helpful YouTube videos that you can watch.
    • Please check in with your Area Director and/or Section Coordinator. 
    • Volunteer on Community Participate Days (CPDs) and ask other gardeners for advice or make plans to help each other with fencing projects.
    • Get to know your garden neighbors – many of them know quite a bit about fencing and gardening.
  • I understand there is an irrigation system in the Gardens. How does this work? 
    • There is a water connection for approximately every 3 gardens. You’ll need to get your own hose and use a silcock with a square hole (or water key) to turn on the spigot. 
    • If you notice a water leak, please email water@fenwayvictorygardens.org. If it is a gusher, please post ASAP on the FGS Facebook page. Sharing photos is definitely encouraged. 
    • We’ll have a YouTube video on irrigation posted by mid-summer 2021.
  • Why are there so many rules in the Guidelines & Regulations?
    • As stewards of the Fenway Victory Gardens which are part of City of Boston land, we are required to have a comprehensive list of guidelines. In order to keep the day-to-day management of the gardens under the purview of the Fenway Garden Society, it is necessary that each gardener abide by the Guidelines and Regulations. 
  • How was our current set of rules established?
    • The FGS Guidelines and Regulations were created decades ago and are presented each year to the Commissioner of Boston Parks and Recreation for review and approval. 
    • We appreciate the partnership we have with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Please do your part as a member and/or park visitor so that the Fenway Garden Society may keep its official steward status.
  • How does the “Nursery/Sharing Garden” work?
    • The Nursery is located across the row from the large wheelbarrow pen. 
    • Please add any plantings that you’d like to share to the raised garden beds. It’s helpful to post a photo on the FGS Facebook page.
  • If I am going to be on vacation/out of town for work and I’ve made arrangements for someone to care for my garden, do I need to let anyone know? 
    • It is helpful to update your garden neighbors. 
    • Also, if you won’t be reachable by cell phone or email, it is essential that you alert your Area Director and/or Section Coordinator. 
  • Are there any annual events scheduled that will help me in planning before or during the growing season? 
    • Yes, FGS organizes an annual seed swap, bulk order, wood chip or compost delivery, etc. 
    • Please check out the FGS calendar on our website.
    • Also, we post events on the FGS Facebook page.
  • I’m interested in taking a bigger role with the organization. What’s available for me to do and who should I contact to get started?
    • First off, we welcome members stepping up and helping out. No matter the volunteer time that you have to offer, there’s a project or role for you. 
    • Please contact the Nominating Committee (nominate@fenwayvictorygardens.org) for info on elected roles. 
    • Also, you should contact any board member regarding elected roles, appointed roles, or activity committees. Please go to the FGS Leadership page on our website for a listing of all board and committee email addresses.
  • FGS schedules Grill Days when gardeners are allowed to grill in their own gardens. How does this work? 
    • Gardeners may only grill when FGS pulls a permit to do so. Grill dates will always be announced via email and on Facebook.
    • FGS Grill Days are for FGS members and their guests, and grilling is limited to Member garden plots. 
    • We have a few “FGS Grill Day” rules for everyone’s safety and the security of our parkland:
      • Use propane only (NO open log fires or charcoal). Always have a water source ready in case of an emergency.
      • Dispose of trash and/or food items when you leave at the end of the event day (note: please help out park maintenance employees by disposing of trash items in the dumpster).
      • Remove grills and propane tanks within 24 hours of the event ending.
  • Something has happened in my personal/work/family life which will prevent me from caring for my garden. Who can I reach out to?
    • Please contact your Area Director and/or Section Coordinator.
  • Can you tell me what your Bulk Order is?
    • FGS typically has one bulk order per year that includes a short list of items (including soil and fencing materials) that gardeners pre-pay for.
    • It is essential that gardeners who place orders are available on the date and at the time of delivery.
  • Can you tell me what the policy is for the wood chip piles?
    • When we have a supply of wood chips the VP of the Park will communicate if the supply is for only applying on rows that abut gardens or if members can take one(1) wheelbarrow per garden plot. 
    • Many years wood chips are in high demand and in short supply. We encourage you to share any contacts you may have to increase the supply.
  • Each year the City of Boston provides compost to the Fenway Victory Gardens. Is there a limit per garden? When does it arrive?
    • In the spring, the City of Boston provides tested compost to the Fenway Victory Gardens. The supply is used for our shared garden and park spaces. Initially, gardeners may take one wheelbarrow per garden plot. Once everyone has had a chance to take compost, we’ll announce that gardeners may take whatever is left. 
    • Gardeners may also extract soil from our compost areas. We recommend that you use a sifter to separate out rocks and other large items. Also, please note that it is up to the individual to get the soil tested if you so desire. 
  • Is it okay to put food scraps in the compost piles?
    • Only materials from our gardens may be placed in the compost piles. 
    • There is a significant rat problem in the city, and the Fenway neighborhood has its fair share of the rodents. Please do not add to the problem by putting your residential waste in the FGS compost piles.
  • Where can I learn more about safety and security in this public space?
  • What do I do if I encounter a security issue?
    • If it is an emergency situation or you feel unsafe, please get to a safe place and immediately call 911. 
    • If it is a non-emergency situation, please send an email to security@fenwayvictorygardens.org. You could also post a notice on the FGS Facebook page and submit a 311 report via the app or by calling 311. Please note that it is important to have verified facts. Also, photos are helpful as well.
  • Do activities at Fenway Park affect life at the gardens?
    • Baseball games and non-baseball events (especially concerts) create lots of neighborhood traffic and at times disruptive behavior within the general community and behavior within the Fenway Victory Gardens. If you would like to report an incident to the Red Sox Community Relations Department, please call 617-226-6717.
    • You can download the Red Sox and Fenway Park schedules to your computer or phone to help you plan your visits to the gardens.
  • What do I do if I decide to give up my garden?
  • What if I have other questions that weren’t answered in this FAQ?
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close