Dealing with HOAs
In more tightly managed neighborhoods, there are often restrictions from the Homeowners Associations on having a vegetable garden. This is quite depressing if you have the sunlight and the budget to grow your own veggies, but your HOA won’t let you.
Here are some strategies to consider.
1. Print out these photos.
They show what a raised bed garden looks like and how it differs from an in-ground garden.
2.Get your neighbors to approve in writing.
Talk to your neighbors and explain what you’d like to do. Print out the pictures above and show them around. Ask if they wouldn’t mind signing a note that says they won’t mind if you have a garden in your yard. (You may have to promise them some ripe tomatoes, but you’ll have plenty!)
3. Attend the next HOA meeting with your printout and your signed letters.
It may be best to describe the beds as “garden planters” and explain that there is no digging into the ground and the beds can easily be removed if a homeowner moves out. The printout mentions the heirloom seeds which means your garden will be decorative as well as productive. Finally, point out that the “garden planters” are only 3′ x 8′ and two of them are all that are needed for a family of four, so the whole garden won’t take up very much room.
4. If you sense there may be a lot of resistance to the idea, you may want to have a wider meeting of your neighbors to see how many of them might want a garden, too. If there are five homeowners asking for a garden, all with letters of approval from their neighbors, it might be harder to turn you down!
Let us know how you do, and feel free to share your HOA experiences.