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Garden Ideas for a Small Yard?

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:30 am
by blackthumb
My backyard, if you can call it that, is very small. We just moved into our townhouse in late November and now we are settled in and I'm ready to start trying to grow things.

I'm interested in growing in containers since I'm not sure what is allowed as far as digging up the 'backyard'. Not to mention, I'd like to take any plants I grow with me if I move. These pictures were taken tonight so you will have no idea what kind of sun this yard gets until I can get some pictures tomorrow of it in the daytime. I'll get three. One for morning light, one for noon, and one for evening, just before I go to work at 4pm.

[img]https://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r197/Zim_Snake/plants006.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r197/Zim_Snake/plants007.jpg[/img]

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:36 am
by blackthumb
Two more pics from different angles.

[img]https://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r197/Zim_Snake/plants008.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r197/Zim_Snake/plants009.jpg[/img]

You can see that I've raked up as much leaves as I can and in one picture you can see a small pile of leaves and what looks like sawdust. I'm attempting to start my own compost pile but I have no clue how to do it. The ingredients in that pile at the time of taking the picture was mostly leaves and old wood pellet bedding from my ferret's cage, old lettuce that we never used, fruit peelings, leftover veggies from dinner, ect. It has rained a couple of times since starting it, and I know the compost pile needs water but how much? Anything I should be doing that I'm not?

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:55 am
by Gnome
blackthumb,
I'm interested in growing in containers since I'm not sure what is allowed as far as digging up the 'backyard'. Not to mention, I'd like to take any plants I grow with me if I move.
The size of your area and the tall fences will possibly make growing sun lovers like tomatoes and peppers challenging. Observe the path of the sun and note which areas get the most sun. This will of course change with the season so it may take you a whole yearly cycle to get the feel of your new situation. There is also a container growing forum and a bonsai forum. Some of the concepts overlap so you might want to check those out.
I'm attempting to start my own compost pile but I have no clue how to do it.
If you use the search feature using the term "compost" you will find many threads/posts. Here are two.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6306
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6352

Don't hesitate to inquire further and welcome to the site.

Norm

EDIT: I see that you have already posted to the container forum.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:51 pm
by pixelphoto
go buy some screw eyes and string and have beans run up the string and the walls.
If you are looking for more pretty instead of food plants. Grow clamatis they are pretty purple flowers that grow as vines and will do well in places that have sun and shade thru the day. I know I have some in a place just like yours they get sun part of the day and shade the rest.
Confederate jasmin looks great and smells wonderful as well ad will cover the wall with beautiful sweet smelling flowers.

Utilize your space by growing up the walls.
As for things around the base you could try a few tomatoes or bell peppers but like gnome said they do love sun and it might be difficult.

leeks or onions or garlic could be started near the base of the fence. Also try strawberries. I have some in a pretty shaded area of my yard that come back every year.
blueberry bushes will do well in partially shaded areas as well. You could grow them in large pots so when you move you don't even have to dig them up.
you just have to experiment with a yard like yours.
Wish you luck and let us know how it goes and what you decide on.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:14 pm
by blackthumb
We will definatly try garlic (my fiance uses that on everything) and strawberries.

Thanks for the ideas. When would be a good time to start planting some stuff out there? I plan on using containers as much as possible so soil is no issue. I know most plants say to grow the seeds after the last threat of frost. (I plan on getting a strawberry plant instead of seeds of course) I have no idea when the last threat of frost is though.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:58 pm
by Gnome
blackthumb,

pixelphoto has given you some good advice. I particularly like the idea of growing vertically against the fencing (you can still do this with pots) to make the most of your space. You will just have to pick the right plant for a given spot.
We will definatly try garlic (my fiance uses that on everything)
look here for some tips on growing Garlic.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6465
Garlic is a bit unusual in that you plant it in the fall for harvest the following summer. You can try to get some in this spring but don't expect stellar results that way.
I have no idea when the last threat of frost is though.
[url]https://www.victoryseeds.com/frost/va.html[/url]

Zones maps are important when choosing what is appropriate in your area, perhaps not so much with annuals but still good to know your zone.
[url]https://mgonline.com/zonemap.html[/url]

Norm

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:53 pm
by blackthumb
Thanks for the links. Especially the zone one. I've always wondered what zone we are. We are 7a.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:41 pm
by pixelphoto
you can check with your county extension agent to find out what to plant when and what your frost date is in your area.
garlic is usually started in fall or winter here in zone 8 it grows over winter and makes bulbs then by spring it really takes off in making bulbs. By summer or fall of the next year its ready to be picked.
blueberrys can be planted now here as well. Winter is a good time to plant grapes bluberry bushes and fruit trees in zone 8. I would think you could do as well in 7a also. But just to be sure check with your local extension agent.

glad i could help. and good luck