Choose a site for a community garden
While considering land for a community garden, think about location, terrain, sun, water, and permits required.
There are pre-approved sites for community gardens. Use this mapopen_in_new to find an eligible site for your community garden.
If you want to build a garden on private property, scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on that process.
Contact 811open_in_new to ensure that there are no utilities in areas where there will be digging. If there are utilities, find a different area or a different site.
Test the soil at the proposed garden location for heavy metal contamination.
You can use any soil test that includes heavy metals, such as this $25 Soil test from the University of Delaware Soil Test Programopen_in_new.
Once a year, the Soil Kitchenopen_in_new offers free soil testing, but it has been cancelled for 2020.
You will be asked to attach a PDF with your test results in your application. If the results show high levels of heavy metal contamination, you must:
Estimate the size of the garden.
Gardens range from only a dozen plots to over 80 plots. We recommend starting small, and leaving room to grow. Community Gardens typically will start with enough beds to meet the level of interest at the time that they are built, and they add beds over time based on needs and requests.
If you want to use a site that has not been identified on the map, you will need to work with the community gardens coordinator at the City of Austin to ensure that it is an eligible site. Considerations include: