Tool Kit for Community Gardens and Seniors


Phase 1 – Basic Planning

  • Is there commitment and organizational capacity to begin, plan, and sustain a community garden?
  • Where will the garden be located?  Who will be eligible to garden?
  • Is there interest within the surrounding Opposition?
  • How can I secure necessary resources and build key partnerships? (Seed money for years 1-3, technical assistance, etc.)
  • Is there a person to lead garden development, organize meetings, and move the planning process along?
  • Did I record measurements and draft a set of blueprints?


Phase 2 – Starting a Garden

  • Is there an easily accessible water source for the garden?
  • Do you want to plant in raised beds, container beds, or in the ground? If in the ground, has the soil been tested?
  • How much sunlight reaches the garden? For how long each day?
  • What is the best season to plant for the specific types of food/flowers I want to grow?
  • Is there on-site storage for tools?
  • Garden Security Policy?
  • Are there any local schools willing to develop a youth stewardship program?


Phase 3 – Sustainability

  • How many volunteers do I have on board? Do I have a plan for managing them? How can I market the garden to recruit more volunteers?
  • Where can I look for grants to secure funding for the garden?
  • What rules will apply to the garden, and who will enforce them?
  • What will happen to the food/flowers grown once they are ready for harvest?
  • Have I taken the necessary actions at the end of the growing season to protect the soil and plants through the winter?
  • Have I organized fall maintenance cleanups?


Tool Checklist

  • Gloves
  • Seeds
  • Soil/Compost
  • Tags for Plants
  • Plants
  • Watering Cans
  • Hoses
  • Rakes
  • Stakes
  • Wheel Barrow
  • Garden Beds


Resources and Helpful Websites

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: 215.988.8777
Technical Assistance, Experience, Teaching, Garden Start-up
Go to:

Primex Garden Center:  215.887.7500 – Ask for Jennifer Hendricks
Friendly Gardening Center to Assist in Purchase of Garden Supplies
Go To:

Neighborhood Gardens Association: 215.988.8797
Assistance in Water Source Connections, Permanent Ownership of Land Issues
Go To:

Mayor’s Office of Sustainability:  215.686.3649
Potential Urban Garden Site Identification
Go To:

Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service: 267.402.7974
Volunteer Opportunities focused on Environmental Vitality
Go To:

Greensgrow Farm:  215.427.2702
Tours, Visit, Learning Opportunities
Go To:

Mill Creek Farm
Farm in West Philadelphia, Tours, Visits
Go To: Mill Creek Farm:

GenPhilly: 215.765.9000 ext. 5072 – Ask for Kate Clark, Chair
If you are an emerging leader and want to join the network email
Go To: to learn more and sign up for the events listserv

Penn State Cooperative Extension, Philadelphia County:
Technical Assistance, Planting Season Information, Gardening Resources
Go To:

Klein and Stiffel JCC, RSVP Program:  215.698.7300 ext. 193 – Ask for Sue Aistrop
Coordinate Volunteers, Capacity Building, Start-up Assistance with Gardens
Go To:

Philadelphia Urban Farm Network:


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