Is Fire Escape Gardening Legal: Fire Escape Garden Ideas And Information

fire escape garden
Image by Kristine Paulus

By Liz Baessler

Living in a city can put a real damper on gardening dreams. No matter how skilled a gardener you are, you can’t make land appear where there isn’t any. If you get creative, though, you can get pretty darn close. There’s one excellent growing location that’s usually native only to cities: fire escapes. Keep reading to learn some fire escape garden tips and fire escape garden ideas.

Gardening on a Fire Escape

There’s one big question that needs to be addressed first: Is fire escape gardening legal? That really depends upon your city, though the answer may very well be no.

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Many gardeners who show off their fire escape gardens online acknowledge that they’re not following the letter of the law, but they always make sure to leave a path wide enough for people to pass in the event of a fire.

Contact your city to find out about local codes and laws BEFORE you do any gardening on a fire escape, and no matter what you do, make sure your fire escape is still useable.

Best Plants to Grow on a Fire Escape

What are the best plants to grow on a fire escape? One important key to remember when gardening on a fire escape is size. You don’t want to overcrowd the space, so small plants are best.

If you want to grow vegetables, cut and come again crops like lettuce and kale are good choices for utilizing the same space for a long time.

Hanging baskets on the outside of the railing will help to keep the path down below clear. If you’re putting pots on your fire escape, make sure to put saucers under them. Even though water runoff isn’t going to ruin any furniture outside, it’s a good idea to keep it from dripping down the wall or onto the street below.

If you’re worried about your neighbors reporting you, it’s best to make your garden as little of a nuisance as possible.

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