Welcome to the Apopka Billie Dean Community Garden.

Our one acre Community Garden is located on the corner of Park Ave and 9th St., Apopka, Fl.  The land is loaned to us by the City of Apopka, Foliage Capital of the World.  The Garden is managed and operated by the good people at The Big Potato Foundation,  a non-profit 501c3 corporation serving our local community.

We offer raised garden beds, each one is four by sixteen feet long, so you may plant and grow the vegetables of your choice. For a small fee of $20 a year for a bed, you will have water, compost, guidance from the University of Florida publications and the opportunity to share gardening tips with other community gardeners. 


Organic Vegetable Gardening

The following information is from the University of Florida publication Organic Vegetable Gardening.  Please go to their website for complete guidance on this subject.


 Insect Disease Control

During periods when infestations of various garden pests are high, control by natural means becomes very difficult. However, the following practices will help to reduce losses without use of chemical pesticides.

  1. Plant resistant varieties (see Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide).
  2. Plant seed from disease-free plants.
  3. Select pest-free transplants.
  4. For cutworms, place a cardboard or tinfoil collar around plant stems at ground level.
  5. Spade garden early so vegetation has time to rot before planting.
  6. Use a mulch; vegetables touching the soil may rot.
  7. Clean up crop refuse early.
  8. Plant as early in the spring as practical. (March 1 for Central Florida)
  9. Keep out weeds which harbor insects and diseases.
  10. Summer fallowing (clean cultivation) helps control nematodes.
  11. Summer flooding, where soil type permits, helps control nematodes
  12. Hand-pick insects.
  13. Water in morning so plants are not wet at night.
  14. Dispose of severely diseased plants before they contaminate others.
  15. Some insects, like cabbage worms, may be killed by spraying with natural preparations such
  16. as Bacillus thuringiensis. (Dipel or Thuricide)
  17. Rotate garden areas (see Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide).
  18. Crotolaria spectabalis and marigolds, when planted as cover crops, tend to reduce some kinds of    nematodes. The use of marigolds to repel nematodes from interplanted vegetables is not effective control.
  19. A good garden mulch tends to reduce damage caused by nematodes.
  20. Many organic gardeners approve of and use sprays and other preparations containing naturally occurring materials. Diatomaceous Earth comes from petrified sea life. Pyrethrin, rotenone, and ryania are examples of natural poisons from plant parts. These give some control to some insects under certain conditions.
  21. Natural predators should be encouraged wherever possible; however, predators raised in captivity, then released into the garden area are usually ineffective.
  22. Insecticidal soaps, made from fatty acids tend to work well for some insects under average conditions.
  23. Insect traps, baited with phermone lures, work well in some instances. Many of these have sticky adhesives to catch insects.
  24. Solar fumigation is effective in reducing some soil-borne problems such as nematodes.



Florida Vegetable Gardening

The University of Florida has publications that are very useful.  The publication link Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide below is specific and includes the information you need to have a successful garden. It contains schedules of which vegetables to grow in each of Central Florida’s three seasons, how to grow them and when to harvest.   edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/vh/vh02100.pdf

Should you have further questions please contact Peter Jordon at (407)473-0132


Garden Rules & Responsibilities

(Revised 4/10)

Rules and regulations serve a purpose—to maintain a safe, clean, beautiful and friendly environment for community gardeners and the community at large. Therefore, each gardener must understand and agree to the following rules and responsibilities before starting a garden.


1.      Chemical weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides are not allowed. Check with the Garden Manager.

2.      Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices must be followed in all gardens.

3.      An annual non-refundable garden fee of $20.00 per bed is payable when a gardener applies for a bed. Volunteer work for the garden may not be accepted in Leu of cash  for purchase of a bed.

4.      Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Gardeners are limited to one Bed 4’ x 16’. Gardeners may have more beds and may be put on a waiting list for extra beds when extra beds are available. Those working for the City of Apopka but residing out of the area or those living in the unincorporated areas of Apopka may rent a bed.

5.      Disrespectful or abusive language or destructive behavior can result in the immediate loss of all gardening privileges, and forfeiture of any crops remaining in the garden.

6.      New gardeners must attend a Garden Orientation after registering. Returning gardeners are strongly encouraged to attend Orientations as well.

7.      Gardeners are responsible for weeding their beds and adjoining areas, keeping them weed-free, and clearing their beds at the end of each growing season. Dead material should be placed in compost piles. 

8.      Gardeners are responsible for planting, cultivating and maintaining their garden beds.  A gardener must start a garden within 45 days. If the deadline is not met the gardener forfeits the bed without a refund.

9.      Gardeners are responsible for assisting with maintenance of common areas at each garden.

10.   Gardeners must contribute 4 hours in the spring, 4 hours in the summer and 4 hours in the fall in the maintenance of common garden space.

11.   No pets are allowed anywhere in the garden (except dogs trained to assist the physically challenged).

Bed Rental

For bed rentals fill out this HANDY FORM.