Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions image



What are your beds made of?

We offer three different style raised beds. The most popular style bed is constructed from Vermont-sourced Northern White Cedar. Green City Growers also sells cedar timber-frame beds, as well as a lower-cost bed constructed from Douglas Fir.

What is your pest fencing made of?

Green City Growers’ fully modular pest and rabbit fencing is constructed from  1/2″ steel hardware cloth, galvanized against rust.  The steel cloth is framed with Northern White Cedar – a durable, naturally rot-resistant wood – attached to metal conduit poles which hold each panel upright. Four panels open like typical hinged doors, providing easy in-and-out access for garden maintenance. The conduit poles slide easily into our own custom-designed and U.S.-fabricated metal brackets, making installation and removal quick and easy. Both are made to fit our standard 4′ x 8′ raised beds exactly.

What comes with the irrigation system?

Our drip irrigation configuration comes standard with the raised bed installation. Quarter inch black tubing connects the automatic timer to the bed where ¼” lines with drip holes every 6 inches deliver water to the plants. Drip systems are water efficient as the irrigation lines deliver water directly to the soil at the base of the plant where the roots have easy access. The beds are watered thoroughly without a lot of excess, decreasing leaching of nutrients as well as wasted water.

What is a cold frame and how does it work?

Season extending cold framesCold frames are season extenders, allow for a later fall harvest (through December) and a head start in February. A cold frame is a wooden base with an aluminum and plastic lid that fits on top of the raised bed or directly over plants in an in-ground plot. It acts as a mini greenhouse, letting in the suns rays through the clear top and then trapping the heat inside. Certain vegetables, such as root crops, greens, and certain herbs, can “over-winter” in the frames. Cold frames are not included with the raised- bed installation but can be purchased with or without a maintenance plan.

Where do you get your materials from?

Green City Growers is dedicated to sourcing all of our materials as locally as possible whenever possible, with a majority of our materials coming from within New England. Our company policy is to work with vendors from within the United States vs. international vendors for all materials that cannot be sourced within the region.


What’s in the soil mix?

Our soil mix is made up of 50% organic compost/topsoil blend, 25% verimiculite (for drainage and to promote microrganism life), and 25% peat moss (to balance the acidity).

Where do we get our soil?

In a way, our soil starts and ends right at Green City Growers! We purchase our topsoil and compost from Brick Ends Farm, a composting facility in South Hamilton. Save That Stuff, a Boston-based waste and resource management company collects food and garden waste from GCG and other customers throughout the region and delivers the waste to Brick Ends. We are so thrilled to be closing the loop and sourcing local, diverse, food-based compost straight from the city!

Where do our plants come from?

We get our starts from local organic farms like Natick Community Organic Farm and our seeds mail order from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine. We chose certified organic seeds varieties when available, and we support local, sustainably focused farming operations.

What types of crops can I grow?

Massachusetts is in zone 6 on the plant hardiness chart, and plenty of edible plant varieties thrive in this climate. See the complete list of vegetables, herbs, and fruit that we offer, and our Crop Map Tool for an introduction on how to get started growing!

What is a hybrid? Is it the same as Genetically Engineered (GE or GMO)?

No, hybrids are not the same as genetically engineered varieties. Our seed supplier, Johnny’s, does not sell any genetically engineered varieties (see their Safe Seed Pledge). Hybrids are developed by the long, slow process of traditional plant breeding, which relies on natural reproductive methods. Read this description of the work that went into breeding six of Johnny’s own varieties here to learn more about the various procedures used in traditional plant breeding.

Are we organic?

We are not certified organic, but all horticultural and soil materials that we use are. Green City Growers farmers use a variety of techniques and materials, including adding beneficial insects, organic fertilizer, and manual pest removal to lighten our impact on the garden ecosystem.

What are our pest control practices?

The first line of defense are beneficial insects. Whether manually adding ladybugs to the beds for aphid control, or just not using harmful chemicals that disturb the natural ecosystem, we aim to keep around the “good bugs” to help us do our job better. We emphasize minimal spraying and the cultivation of healthy plants and soil to create a pest and fungus free environment.

Weekly, we apply compost tea full of microorganisms that keep plants healthy so they can most effectively resist disease. When we do need to apply a pesticide, we always use OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certified products approved for organic farming.


How long is our season?

A typical Massachusetts growing season is from mid-April-October. By installing cold frames in your garden, you can extend the season from March-December, or even year-round, depending on the year.

Do we sell retail?

No, although we occasionally have limited surplus materials available to sell (including soil, soil components, irrigation materials and cold frame components) depending upon availability.

Do we have a C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture program)?

No, all of the produce that we help our clients to grow is the property of the client. Many of our business and education programs chose to donate the produce, but are not obligated to do so.


How am I billed?

For installations: 50% deposit due at signing of the contract, rest due on the day of the installation

Maintenance clients: billed monthly, payment due upon receipt of invoice

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes, you can now pay bills online using your credit card.

I have a question about my bill. Who should I contact?

Please feel to contact us via email.