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Do you know if front yard vegetable and herb gardens are permitted…

Michele Asked

Do you know if front yard vegetable and herb gardens (not just edible landscaping, but actual raised beds and trellises) are permitted in the Shively area of Louisville? A friend and I are trying to plan her garden. Her back yard is north-facing and tree-shaded almost all day. But her front yard has excellent sun.

Her area does not have a homeowners association, and despite reading the neighborhood plans and urban zoning documents, I can’t find information on non-commercial edible gardening. I’m not sure if I should assume “as long as it is neat and clean” or not.

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The Gardener’s Answer

This is a great time of year dream up and plan for a new garden. As far as I know, there are no restrictions on edible gardening on private property. As long as there are no HOA guidelines to adhere to, you should be able to design and plant as you please.

I think a lot of times people assume a vegetable garden will look messy or un-kept, but if it is designed and maintained well it can be both beautiful and bountiful. Choosing the front yard instead of the back sounds like the only choice in terms of available sunlight.

Measuring the space and drawing it out on graph paper is a helpful visual. Make a list of the vegetables, herbs, and fruit that your friend would like to plant and then space them appropriately on the drawing. This will help in the spring when it is time to plant.

It is always a good idea to have your soil tested before adding a new garden. The results will indicate if amendments would be beneficial. Soil testing can be done through the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service. For more detailed information on vegetable gardening in Kentucky, click here. Enjoy the planning and the harvest!

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