“Everything you need to know!”


How To: Filling the Water Barrels

Part of the weekly duties is filling up the rain barrels with water. This can take up to an hour pending on how hot the weather is and how much water everyone is using, so plan accordingly.

When you arrive at the garden, open the shed and retrieve the silver wrench (it is made especially for the fire hydrant), the orange cover with a pipe sticking out of it and two hoses. You screw the orange cover onto the hydrant, then you attach the two linked hoses to the hydrant. Afterwards, you place one end of the hose in a rain barrel. Then you use the wrench to twist on the hydrant. Check the fire hydrant to see what direction to twist the wrench. Also it will take some “umph” to turn it on so do not be discouraged if you think it is not working. Just keep turning it until you hear and see water. Do not leave the wrench on the hydrant once you turn the water on.

Once the barrels are full, we need to turn the water off, and place the wrench, hydrant cover with pipe and hoses back in the shed.

LEAVING things out results in things disappearing. REMEMBER to put them all back in the shed.

*Also in case you are curious or if anyone ever approaches you on using the hydrant. We have a permit provided by the city for it and are legally able to access it.

*We will have a demonstration for this every year at the beginning of the season during the first garden meeting.

Weekly Duties: Water, Compost, Trash & Lawn Care

Every week during the growing season (April – Nov.) there will be a plot(s) assigned to perform four specific duties: Water, Trash, Compost & Lawn Care. These tasks are to be completed throughout the week on an as-needed basis. There will be a sign-up link sent to you via email upon joining the garden. Each plot must sign-up for a minimum of 3 weeks. If you cannot perform your duties for the week you committed to please ask another plot to switch with you and send the garden an email notifying them of this switch. Missing your weekly duties for the entire week without finding proper coverage will result in conflict resolution, see Standard Policy.


All rain barrels (blue) and water barrels (tan) need have their water levels checked each week and must be filled when water is low. Water filling takes approximately 45 minutes to fill all the containers. This task may require two people since it is labor intensive. Use the fire hydrant located near the parking lot entrance on the corner of 20th St. & College Ave. (See “How To: Filling the Water Barrels”)


Collect all trash debris in and around the garden. All trashcans in the garden need to be checked and emptied when full. The trash must be taken to the dumpster. The dumpster is located on the backside of the Philadelphia Technician Training Institute. Refill the trashcans with new trash bags, which are stored in the shed.


Turn the compost at least once a week using the pitchfork or shovel found in the shed. There are three large pallet open bins. You can turn the compost by moving the debris from the bottom of the pile to the top of the pile several times. This should completely cover any new organic matter that was recently added. If it has not rained recently and the piles look dry, spray the open bins with water.

Lawn Care

Mow the lawn within the fenced in area and in front of the entrance flower beds at the gate. The lawn should be mowed once a week or when it appears too long.

Do Compost:

Grass clippings
Dead plants
Vegetable waste
Fruit waste
Coffee grounds
Tea bags
Hair/ lint
Bread/ grains
Shredded paper/ newspaper

* non invasive weeds
** only manure from grass fed animals (cud chewers), chickens & rabbits

Don’t Compost:

Metal/ glass
Contaminated matter
Meat/ dairy
Grease/ bones
Solid wastes (cat or dog or human)
Wood ashes
Charcoal/ lime
Invasive weeds
Gone-to-seed weeds
Wood chunks
Large amounts of soggy materials

Meetings & Work Days

2019 Work Day Schedule:

  • April 7 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Garden Opening – *Mandatory Meeting
  • May 4 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • June TBD
  • July TBD
  • August TBD
  • September TBD
  • October TBD
  • November 16- 9:00AM – till all tasks are completed – Garden Closing Day – *Mandatory Meeting


Girard Garden requires that all gardeners attend 2 mandatory garden meetings that will be held at the open and close of the garden season. If additional meeting time is necessary the garden will notify its gardeners of the date and time or set up a Doodle to poll the best day.

Work Days

It is our hope that these mandatory times will be used as a fun way to share garden responsibilities and get to know your neighbors. Girard Garden will post a list of chores on the website and in the shed that need to be completed for that work day. If you cannot make the work day, please email the garden to let us know. You will then be given the option to choose between 3 tasks designated by the garden leadership team to make up for your absence. If you miss the work day and no make up task is completed, please see Standard Policy below.

Standard Policy

The garden reserves the right to enforce the Rules & Regulations policy. We retain the right to withhold your annual deposit if you do not comply with these Rules & Regulations. Repeated failures to comply will result in you being asked to leave the garden with no refund. The garden will communicate with you and offer alternate ways to resolve conflicts before the items listed below become elevated to the point of expulsion.

*Examples of, but not limited to, offenses that will result in potential dismissal:

1. Missing mandatory garden meetings.
2. Failure to maintain your garden plot, pathway, and communal beds.
3. Failure to complete your weekly garden sign up duties (rain barrels, trash, compost, etc.)
4. Theft of another gardener’s produce or property.
5. Failure to attend mandatory garden work days.

*Entry into the garden is currently closed. Please contact us at girardgarden@gmail.com if you have any questions.