Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay to be part of the Grow Your Neighbour’s Own scheme?
It costs nothing to be matched up with a garden owner or gardener.

Do you check for references from gardeners?
We will be asking for a reference from gardeners, a simple check to see that they are who they say there are. In addition we understand that some garden owners may be a little wary of letting someone they don’t know into their house (especially the elderly and more vulnerable). We will offer the possibility of matching a garden owner with a gardener who has a current CRB check if required, but this will limit the choice of gardeners you might be matched with. As a gardener, if you already have a current CRB check, you’ll have more choice of gardens!

Do I need insurance?
Grow Your Neighbour’s Own does not have insurance. We are simply the match-making scheme, and once we’ve found you a pairing how you do your gardening is entirely up to you! If you are keen to be personally insured against injury whilst gardening, it’s worth checking how you are covered by other insurance you might have (unemployment insurance, life insurance, etc), or taking out personal injury insurance yourself.

What if I want to be a gardener but have no experience of gardening?
Not a problem. We’ll pair you with someone who is happy with this, and provide you with links to help you get started. It’s not as hard as it looks! The links page also lists (cheap) courses run by Brighton and Hove Organic Gardening Group about how to get started. And you can find a guide for beginners on how to get started here, as well as on many other websites (see the links page again).

If I become an allotment co-worker what rights does this give me over the allotment plot?
Allotment co-workers do not have any legal tenancy rights over an allotment plot – if the tenant of the plot gives it up for any reason, this does not mean a co-worker can automatically take it over. However if a co-worker has been registered as such with the council for more than two years and the tenant decides to give up the plot, it is possible that the tenancy can be handed over to the co-worker (though this is not automatic). For a full list of co-worker rules see the council website.

As a garden owner can I find a gardener just to help around my garden a bit? What if I only want ornamental plants grown?
Grow Your Neighbour’s Own is a scheme for increasing local food production, so if you are looking to grow ornamental plants this is not the scheme for you. There are other schemes for this: the Neighbourhood Care Scheme can put you in touch with volunteers to help around your garden; and if you are interested in just having ornamental plants grown, please email for more information.

As a gardener when will I have access to the garden/allotment? How will I get in? Will I have a key so I can go in when I want?
This will be something to discuss with the garden owner when you first meet. We’ll provide a suggested list of things to discuss. It may be that the garden owner will always be present for the first few times you garden, but other arrangements will be worked out when you know each other better.

Who provides/pays for tools, seeds, materials, etc?
These and other questions will need to be answered before growing starts, but generally it will be expected that the gardener will pay for the materials. See the suggested list of things to discuss.

What if I’m not happy with the way things are working out?
The scheme is always there to help if you feel things are not working out as you expected. We hope that any minor problems will be sorted out between garden owner and gardener. But you always have the option of withdrawing yourself from the scheme, or asking for another pairing.

There’s a big area of unused land near me on which I want to grow veg! How do I go about it?
Go find the owner and ask them if you can use it. Or let us know about it – if you can find out who owns the land, even better.