Princeton University


Lawrence Garden Panorama
The garden in July 2017.

Every year many Lawrence residents enjoy spending time outside and growing our own vegetables and flowers in our community garden. The garden is in the fenced-off area, about 1/3 acre, behind Building 14.

Signup HERE to rent a plot in the garden for the 2023 season! The Kick-Off event will take place on April 1, 2023. After signing up you’ll receive an email with more details. 

Read below or see the Lawrence Garden handbook to learn more. For questions, contact the Garden Coordinator at Also, follow us on Instagram @lawrencegarden!

Best Reasons to Garden

  • Great way to meet your neighbors. Enjoy group gardening days (frequently with donuts) and get out of your department bubble.
  • New Jersey is the Garden State. It is relatively easy to grow lots of tasty vegetables, economical herbs, and beautiful flowers.
  • Each gardener receives an individual plot and you can choose how much space you want. One bed is roughly 3-feet by 8-feet. You can opt for just one or up to six, or even more, depending on availability.
  • Water, compost, mulch, and many tools are provided and easy to access. A tall fence and locked gate keeps out deer, groundhogs, and bunnies (but not baby bunnies — still a plus for some).


Digging in
Digging up sweet potatoes

The sign-up link is posted here on the website and distributed via email to the general Lawrence Apartments listserv in March.

After signing up, gardeners are added to the Lawrence garden listserv, which the garden coordinator uses to send important updates about garden access, shared resources, and community events.

This is a moderated listserv, meaning the coordinator must approve any messages sent to it. Gardeners may send occasional messages relevant to all, for example requests for help with watering during a gardener’s absence, but message approval is at the coordinator’s discretion.

To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, follow these OIT

The Garden Year

Help the bees with marigolds and other flowers

Gardening typically begins in April or May. In March or April gardeners clean up remaining debris from the past season and put down fresh compost on the beds and mulch on the pathways. The garden coordinator then assigns plots and opens the garden.

After the garden opens gardeners begin planting purchased transplants or starting seeds. Things really take off after the last frost date, which is in early- to mid-May for this area.

Over the summer gardeners participate in community events and help take care of shared areas as well as tending the their own plots, watering, cultivating and removing weeds, and harvesting.

The end of the gardening season is about mid-October, when the first frost occurs. At the end of the season we clear our plots and put crop supports, plastic, pots, or other items in storage.

Then we dream about next year.



Q: I currently live in Lawrence but may have to move out midway through the summer. Can I still get a plot? 

A: Yes. If you end up having to move out of Lawrence during the summer, you have two options: 

  1. Give up your plot after move-out. In this case you should grow crops that do not take too long to harvest (bush beans, radishes, spinach, peas, kale, …) OR give away your plot to someone who can harvest the rest of your crops.

  2. Continue to care for your plot after moving out. This is inadvisable if you’re moving farther away than say Lakeside because you will likely not have time to tend weeds often enough and they will encroach on your neighbor’s plot. 

Q: I don’t live in Lawrence but may move in during the summer. Can I get a plot?

A: You must currently live at Lawrence or very near Lawrence to get a plot in the garden. This is because we must combat weeds immediately when they start growing, or the garden will be taken over. Those that live far away will likely not weed their plots often enough.

This map shows the location of the Lawrence Garden between Buildings 6 and 14.