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Orlando, Florida allows veggies in front yards in new garden ordinance

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The revamped landscaping code says no more than 60 percent of a home’s front yard can be covered with grass. It’s part of an effort to reduce the strain on the area’s dwindling water resources.

By Mark Schlueb
Orlando Sentinel
November 25, 2013


After a fight that made green-thumbed gardeners see red, Orlando is changing its rules to allow residents to plant tomatoes, carrots and other veggies in their front yards.

The new rules — which for the first time state that vegetable gardens don’t have to be banished to the back yard — are part of a bigger package of landscaping standards that will affect what you plant on your property and how you take care of it.

But the front-yard gardening regulations drew the most attention.

It started nearly a year ago when the city threatened a College Park couple with fines if they didn’t uproot the lush vegetable garden covering their front yard and replace it with something like grass. That case was dropped after city officials acknowledged they didn’t have any rules about vegetable gardens, but not before it drew national attention.

Over the past year, Orlando leaders have worked to develop standards that balance residents’ rights to grow their own food with the desire to have neat, aesthetically pleasing landscaping.

Read the complete article here.