Members Only

To return to the original Members Only page, click on the Members Only menu item above.

Watering and Mulching Guide

Dear FMCG Gardeners:

Despite recent rains, we are still in a severe drought situation. The Board has been and will continue working closely with the Park Service to ensure that the Garden's water system is leak-free and that our water is not being stolen or diverted to other areas of Fort Mason.

Despite all our efforts, FMCG’s water usage in FY2015-16 more than quadrupled to 423,900 gallons. This is equivalent to using over 9 GALLONS PER DAY on each of FMCG’s garden plots. Consequently, our water bill also more than quadrupled last year and now represents one-third of our operating budget. This jeopardizes the Garden’s financial health and ultimately its survival.

Please read the guidelines below and follow them.

If you see somebody watering overhead or letting the hose run, SPEAK TO THEM and make your displeasure known. If they are unpleasant or uncooperative, call our Sergeant-at-Arms, Richard Pennington, at 415-370-8949 and he will follow up.

If we can't get this under control, we may have to remove all hoses from the Garden. The Board is also considering both Garden-wide fees for water use and/or an increase in member dues. Other measures under discussion are monetary fines against individual members for each offense or expulsion from the Garden. We know these are draconian but the measures and warnings instituted last year didn’t work. We must all make changes or the Garden may be no more.

We will be ordering mulch again soon. Like last year, it will be mandatory to mulch your space. If you don't like the type of mulch provided, you will have to supply your own.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The FMCG Board


  1. Check the soil BEFORE you water. Use your finger or a trowel to test the soil at least 1" deep. If your finger or trowel isn't dry, your plot doesn't need watering. In densely planted areas of your plot, use this "finger test" method or get a moisture meter to see if the soil really needs watering instead of watering automatically.

  2. DO NOT turn on the hose and leave it running. Hand water each plant preferably using a watering can with a sprinkler attachment.

  3. Water very low to the ground to reduce evaporation and discourage mildew and disease from developing on plants.

  4. Cover your whole garden in mulch. Large patches of bare soil allow rapid evaporation that pulls water from mulched areas.

  5. Please use at least 2" of mulch with 2-3 inch "dishes" cleared around plant stems so you can water directly into those small cleared areas.

  6. If you have a substitute watering for you while you're away on vacation, please print out and give them a copy of this email with watering instructions.

Using the guidelines above, you should need to water only once a week or even less.