Growing Your Garden or Farm

So, you are all set up with land and a plan. What’s next? It is time to start growing! We can help you find materials and supplies in Pittsburgh, and point you in the direction of growing best practices. We also share who to ask for help when you need some personal assistance.

Finding Materials
The Grower’s Resources page on Grow Pittsburgh’s website can help you find all kinds of supplies in Pittsburgh. Also check out their Garden Resource Center, where for a fee you can borrow tools and access materials like wood chip mulch and compost. For any kind of building materials, visit Construction Junction where you can buy a wide array of recycled materials including lumber and cement blocks. Penn State Extension lists equipment and other farm needs suppliers here

Building Structures 
You may be interested in building different types of structures to assist in your growing, and some of these, such as sheds or fencing, fall under the enforcement of the zoning code. If you apply for an Urban Agriculture permit or for an Adopt-A-Lot Lease (to start a garden on City land), any proposed structures needs to be included in the plan you provide when you submit your permit application. 

There are also specifications for animal/bee-related structures in the Urban Agriculture zoning code that need to be followed (check out the info in the All About Land section (internal link). If your land is zoned as Agriculture, there are different rules that you can read in section 911.04.A.2 of the zoning code. For information about the zoning approval process in general, visit the Division of Zoning and Development Review’s website

For other structures like greenhouses or high tunnels, it is best to contact the Zoning department before building. If the structure is temporary, it may not need a permit.

Finding Information
While this guide is not focused on helping you to grow food, it is helpful to know where to look when you have problem or need more information. Check out these sources for best practices on various topics:
Soil Fertility
Crop Selection/Planning
Pest and Disease Management
Raising Animals
Season Extension/Building Structures 

Getting Help
Maybe you need more help with growing than just a website? Contact these organizations for support:

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