Gardening on Rental Property

Gardening Matters invites property owners and managers to attend the workshop: Creating Gardens on Rental Property!

This workshop will address the potential challenges and benefits of allowing tenants to garden and highlight specific strategies to outline expectations and aid communication. Participants will see examples of successful gardens on rental property and leave with resources to assist them in future projects. 

If you are interested in hosting this workshop, contact 

Gardening Matters is working in partnership with the City of Minneapolis and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) to make gardening on rental property easier. During the summer of 2014, Gardening Matters conducted two listening sessions and solicited written feedback online from both property owners and renters. Based on the information we heard, we have developed resources that can help property owners and renters connect, communicate, and have successful gardens.

We are currently looking for both renters and property owners to "test-drive" these resources. Would you like to give them a try? Contact Nadja to learn more! Your experiences can help make the process easier for others!

If you are a property owner with interest in learning more, we offer technical consultation and workshops. Contact Nadja for more details. 

Resources for Property Owners and Tenants:

Gardening on Public Housing Property (Video courtesy of the St. Paul Public Housing Authority)

Making the Case to Property Owners
Use this document to develop some key talking points as you make a case to the property owner!

Sample Lease Addendum (small properties)
Renters and property owners can construct a written agreement outlining roles and responsibilities and address any potential concerns together. 

Sample Lease and Guide for Gardens within Larger Developments
This thorough guide, Ground Rules: A Legal Guide for Community Gardens, the  was developed by the Public Health Law and Policy Center, now ChangeLab Solutions. The sample lease begins on page 8. 

Summary of Listening Session and Survey Findings
Read more about our findings.

Container Gardening:

We are particularly mindful of renters who - because of issues related to time, resources, space, contaminated soil, or landlord agreements - may find gardening much more accessible if it is portable and temporary. Container gardens can be moved around, don’t require any digging, aren’t permanent, and can be placed anywhere with enough sunlight, such as balconies, porches, small courtyards, etc. If you are interested in container gardening on your property, check out these resources:

An introductory guide to the basics, including: containers, soil, sunlight, watering/drainage, fertilizer, and plants.
This graphic, from, focuses on which vegetables to plant and how to care for your container garden. 

Measure Your Harvest:

Rental and container gardeners are encouraged to participate in our Measure Your Harvest program that helps measure the quantity of produce grown over a season. The goal is to get an estimate of how much renters and container gardeners are growing. This information will be used to support future Gardening Matters programming and the gardening community. The 2015 Measure Your Harvest Program starts June 26. 

How to keep track of what you grow using simple, accesible forms of measurement, and how each vegetable should be measured.
Use this electronic survey to submit your harvest measurements every two weeks.