FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Where do you deliver?
Due to the cost of gas, rental mileage rates on the truck, limited orders in the outer areas, and several other factors we have had to shrink our deliver range, pictured below. We still serve the Greater Milwaukee Area but we only deliver as far north as E. Brown Deer Road (100), south the W. Grange Avenue, and west to N 124th Street. Exceptions can potentially be made for those not too far out of the delivery range and who are ordering 4 or more beds/yards of soil. Please contact our Community Programs Manager directly to discuss this possibility.
Q: What does a BLITZ garden look like?
Every BLITZ garden measures 4′ wide by 8′ long and 10″ deep. Once built and filled with high-quality, organic soil from Blue Ribbon Organics (included), it will look like this:
Q: Why raised beds?
Milwaukee County’s landscape has been ruled by industry for so long that most of our soil is contaminated with toxins. For this reason, we encourage residents to garden in raised beds with healthy soil brought in from elsewhere. If you’re curious about your soil and would like to have it tested for general growing requirements or for lead, follow the links below.
Q: What is included in the price of a BLITZ garden?
- A 4 foot wide, 8 foot long, 10 inch deep untreated pine lumber bed construction* – no chemicals leaching into your soil!
- Delivery of 1 cubic yard of high-quality, organic compost/topsoil garden mix from Blue Ribbon Organics that will give your veggies all the nutrients they need to flourish without chemical fertilizers!
- Move Grass Grow Food yard sign – to show all your neighbors that they can grow their own food, too. (These are on hold for 2020, but maybe we will have some available this summer! Stay tuned.)
- Thanks to a generous donation from Stein’s, each BLITZ garden recipient will receive a few packets of veggie seeds to start their garden growing!
- A Buy-One/Get-One tomato seedling coupon at Weber’s Greenhouse courtesy of our newest partners, Teens Grow Greens!
- Installation by VGI volunteers (you don’t have to do any heavy lifting!)
- Endless community-building opportunities!
*If you were to build a similar garden yourself, you’d spend between $185 – $400 with lumber, seeds, organic soil and delivery costs, not to mention all the time you’d spend putting it all together. Plus, your purchase helps us keep doing the work we do, building communities that grow their own food!
Q: How do I tell if I am in a discounted zone?
Our discounted neighborhoods and zip codes change yearly based on our sponsors. Here are the 2020 sponsored areas:
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin sponsors the entire zip codes of 53204, 53206, 53208, and 53218. These beds are $25.
The Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC) in partnership with the City of Milwaukee sponsor their Target Investment Neighborhoods (TINs) of Brody, Century City, Clarke Square, Harambee North, Roosevelt Grove, Tri-Block, Walker Square, Washington Park, and West Burnham Park/Silver City. You can find the maps and exact sponsored blocks to check your address by clicking here. These beds are $50.
Wells Fargo is also sponsoring the entire Harambee Neighborhood. The borders of the Harambee neighborhood are: E. Keefe Avenue to the north, N. Holton Street to the east, W. North Avenue to the south, and I-43 to the west. These beds are $25 and come with a gift card and garden kit.
If you are still confused as to whether or not you are located in a sponsored zip code, please call us at 414-431-0888 to confirm BEFORE ordering!
Q: When will my garden be installed?
We cannot predict precisely when your garden will be installed because this is a volunteer-driven event. However, the process for garden installation looks like this:
- Beds are installed each year during the 2nd two weeks of May. In 2020, the Blitz is scheduled for May 9th-23rd. Please have your garden site marked off and prepared by MAY 9TH! Our volunteers will not deliver soil to beds if the location isn’t clearly marked. Our volunteers will do their best to level your beds, but if you need major leveling, sod removal, or brush cleanup etc. please do so before May 9th as we have a very tight schedule to keep and our volunteers are not trained, landscapers.
- We will do our best to contact you in the days before your bed is up for delivery to confirm that your space is prepared. Volunteers will also attempt to contact you when we are en route to your site to install. You do not need to be present for your garden to be installed, but please have the location marked out and unlock any gates that will prevent volunteers from entering the garden space. Don’t forget to bring your dogs inside!
*Two caveats on delivery. One is that we cannot deliver soil during rain events. Also, this year with the current public health crisis, we are doing our best to get through all our orders as quickly as possible, but we are doing it with a quarter of the volunteers that we normally have. Please be patient with us! We will get your garden bed installed as soon as the situation allows!
Q: What do I have to do to register?
Registration begins mid-November to early December. Watch for announcements during this time for further details.
Q: What do I need to do before my garden arrives?
- Make sure you pick a spot in your yard that gets full sun – at least 6 hours or more during summer.
- Then, before volunteer crews arrive, mark the spot with corner stakes, or some other method that will be obvious to volunteers when they arrive (stones, flower pots, sticks, etc).
- If you have any major landscaping that needs to be done before the bed can go in, please do so before May 9th! Our volunteers are not skilled landscapers and with over 500+ beds to install every year our schedule doesn’t allow for customized work at each location. Please level the site as best you can, remove any large rocks or weeds, and if you would like the sod pulled up please do so before volunteers arrive.
- Some recipients also choose to lay down cardboard boxes or burlap over the site as a weed barrier to prevent grass from poking through into the garden. Anything biodegradable (made from natural materials like cotton or paper) should work – no plastic, as it can leach chemicals into your organic soil! We try to bring burlap and cardboard to each site to lay down as a barrier, but sometimes our supply runs low and we can’t guarantee it will be available.
Q: Do I need to be home for my garden to be installed?
No, you do not need to be present. Please mark the spot where your garden will be (see above under “What do I need to do before my garden arrives?”) and make sure there is access to your garden. If you have a gate, be sure to leave it unlocked!
Q: Where can I find seeds and plants?
Each BLITZ garden will receive a varied selection of 10 vegetable and flower seed packets as well as a coupon for a buy-one-get-one free tomato seedling at Weber’s Greenhouse (Teens Grow Greens). Many grocery, hardware and dollar stores sell seeds, and garden centers carry transplants to get a head start on the growing season.
Q: I already have a bed, but would like soil added to my existing garden(s). Do you do that?
Yes! You can order just soil through the BLITZ and volunteers will come to drop it off wherever you’d like during the BLITZ (just be sure to indicate where in your registration). Don’t know how many cubic yards to order? Use this soil calculator (1 yard = 27 cubic feet):
Q: How can I volunteer for the Victory Garden BLITZ?
Volunteering is currently closed for the 2020 Blitz due to the health crisis and the need for social distancing at our event.
Q: I’m new to gardening, can you help me take care of our garden?
Victory Garden Initiative has a program called the Garden Mentor program where experienced gardeners volunteer their time to help new gardeners get started. We have a limited number of experienced volunteers, so you must ask early to get in the program! Contact Montana (see below) to sign up for a Mentor. Note that this year with COVID-19, we may have fewer volunteers than usual as many of our mentors are retirees who may remain in isolation. We encourage you to reach out to your mentor virtually instead of in-person as much as possible! And please reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram with pictures and we will do our best to help you online with questions and concerns!
Please direct questions to our Community Programs Manager, Montana, at 414-431-0888 or use the contact form to provide more details.