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Tenant looks for solution to landlord’s concerning landscaping blunder: ‘I’m trying to make it work’

“Landlords can make it much more difficult to reap the benefits of gardening.”

"Landlords can make it much more difficult to reap the benefits of gardening."

Photo Credit: iStock

A frustrated Redditor is venting about their landlord inhibiting their ability to garden at home.

In a post on the r/NoLawns subreddit, a concerned user asked a question about their gardening capacity after finding out that their landlord put drainage fabric under their lawn. 

“It’s about 6” down. Dang, can I even still garden right in our native soil?” the user wrote.

“I don’t have a ton of space myself and I share it with other folks in the apartment but I am determined to grow some of our food. I also wanted a compost pile in the yard,” the user said in the body of the post. “Do you think it’s possible to garden straight into the native soil with a drainage tarp? I probably need to build a raised bed.” 

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” they added, “but I don’t readily have access to other land to grow food on so I’m trying to make it work.”

In addition to saving you money on groceries and attracting pollinators to your local ecosystem, gardening has a number of positive side effects — it can boost mental health and promote a healthier lifestyle

Unfortunately, homeowners associations and pesky landlords can make it much more difficult to reap the benefits of gardening by limiting tenants’ ability to grow their own food. For more information on how to take on your HOA for the good of the environment, visit TCD’s HOA guide.

Fortunately for the original user, other Redditors shared gardening loopholes that should improve their crop-growing yield in spite of the landlord’s impediments.

“Go with a raised bed. The only ‘normal’ garden vegetable that doesn’t readily work in a raised bed is sweet corn. Build it nice and tall, look up one of the variations of mel’s mix to fill the bed,” one user suggested. “If you make it tall, you’ll have zero issues with weeds/weeding, and your plants will grow better with the good drainage. Also, tall raised beds eliminate bending over, and as Mike McGrath advises, bending is for chumps.”

“Raised bed alternative: grow bags and a drip system. Mine are performing very well,” another user wrote.

“I’d suggest you find a system you can take with you if you leave. Sometimes landlords have issues with you changing the landscaping. Grow bags would do that, and other containers. They sell compost containers, basically large trash cans with lots of holes for air flow,” a third user said

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