The renewed popularity of growing your own vegetables has risen steadily because of recent economic problems during the first decade of the 21st century, as well as the organic foods movement. With this renewed interest has sprung selective prohibitions of vegetable gardens by homeowners associations and local governments. These prohibitions are enacted to maintain control over residential environments to alleviate concerns or issues surrounding the look of a property as well as community resources.
Local municipalities can regulate the types and amounts of fertilizers used in vegetable gardens. Prohibitions of this type for vegetable gardens are related to the potential for fertilizers and toxins to migrate into the water table and local water supply.
Restrictive covenants can stipulate if vegetable gardens are allowed, and if so where and what size they can be. Look for these types of covenants to be in place where homeowners associations (HOAs) are present. Placement of vegetable gardens are often restricted to the backyard and can be regulated to certain distances away from property lines.
Look for water prohibitions during dry seasons or periods of drought. Communities often regulate the use of water in conservation efforts to ensure water tables can meet basic needs. Water gardens according to recommendations of the local community or use methods that use drip irrigation. Soaker hoses and sprinkler systems are usually banned during water prohibitions similar to restrictions for watering lawns or washing vehicles.
Study local and community ordinances in regards to selling harvested produce from your vegetable garden. Many urban communities restrict vegetable stands around residential properties regardless of size. These restrictions stem from both the potential zoning issues and health concerns.
Look for stipulations in HOA rules when you purchase housing in HOA communities; once you sign the papers you are agreeing to abide by the prohibitions as long as you own the residence. Watch weather reports and forecasts to determine if a potential water ban may be implemented. Switch watering to low-use systems such as drip irrigation or rainwater collection. Use organic fertilizers and compost to add nutrients to the soil; this will eliminate the need to watch the amount and type of fertilizer used in vegetable gardening.