Duck Lake Trail Gardens, summer 2020

Are you interested in gardening but lack the space on your property for a garden? Perhaps you live in an apartment and don’t have your own yard to work with. Or, maybe your yard is too shaded for optimal gardening.  For almost 50 years, the city of Eden Prairie has offered its residents the opportunity to rent garden plots. The original plots were located at Round Lake Park back in the 1970’s. These days, the plots are located at Pioneer Park Gardens, Duck Lake Trail Gardens, and Pioneer Trail Gardens. Community garden plots are available to residents of Eden Prairie and those who work in Eden Prairie. If you’ve ever wandered by one of the gardening locations, you’ll see everything growing from stunning annuals, to sunflowers, tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, herbs, and more! It’s really a feast for the eyes (and tummy!). Sometimes you can catch the gardeners tending to their plants, and they might even spend time talking to you about what they are growing. Some of the gardeners have even been with the program for over 20 years!   

Some gardeners create elaborate and beautiful gardens. These are comparable to what you might find in a backyard of a master gardener – complete with bird baths, trellises, and stepping stones. Other gardens are more straightforward – rows of carefully planned crops and no frills. Everyone has their own method for gardening. I’ve enjoyed walking through the gardens with our kids and giving them a mini botany lesson.

Duck Lake Trail Gardens, summer 2020

You might be wondering what it means to rent out a community garden plot. What should you expect and what amenities are available to you?

– Pioneer Trail Gardens -13180 Pioneer Trail, east of Speedway entry
– Duck Lake Trail Gardens – 16591 Duck Lake Trail, near Assembly of God Church
– Pioneer Park Gardens – 8940 Sutton Drive, behind Senior Center

– Plot sizes vary from: 20’x30’, 20’x40’, 20’x60’
– Rental fees for a garden plot from May – October: Range between $48 – $120 (discount for 55+, see website for details)
– Pioneer Park has accessible garden plots for those in a wheelchair or those that prefer seated gardening. The 5’x7’ space is just $10 for the gardening season.

– Water is provided at each site, but you will need to bring your own watering can or bucket
– All plots are tractor-tilled each spring
– Portable toilets are available at each location
– Fences are not provided, but you are allowed to build your own
– All plots are full sun

– In 2020, 72% of gardeners were returning gardeners
– Pioneer Trail Gardens is the most requested location, it also has the most plots
– Duck Lake Trail Gardens tends to have the most available plots after registration has begun
– Returning gardeners get priority over new gardeners
– There is a small wait list each year, especially for those requesting specific sized plots at certain locations

Pioneer Park raised garden beds

As many of us look to get outdoors again, gardening can be a great way to stay active, gather with the neighbors, and meet new friends. Will you be venturing into the world of gardening this year?

You can request a garden plot beginning March 24, 2021. For more information and to register for a garden plot, go to:

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Carolyn Wieland

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