dilbertjcg
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Is this enough sun for a Veggie Garden?

I took pictures of the entire (crappy for right now) back yard. Want to do some light landscaping and turn portions of the backyard into a veggie garden with some raised beds. The pix are attached. I'm in zone 9a and have 3 questions.
1. Is this enough light for a veggie garden or should I just do some landscaping sans veggie garden?

2. I want to eventually grow enough for all my year round veggies. I'm single with a son on the weekends. Is this doable back here?

3. I know I want to do crop rotation, as organic as possible, and a full range of veggies. Problem is there is so much info out there and so many ways to do things I feel overwhelmed with what to do. If you could choose one source of well organized info what would it be to get started?

I unfortunately don't have the option to trim back the trees.

Oh, and thanks in advance!

830 AM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7145/6778436741_480894fee1_o.jpg[/img]

10 AM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6778436837_e934074419_o.jpg[/img]

1130 AM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7167/6778436973_1f2883135c_o.jpg[/img]

1 PM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6778437071_eda1ab422b_o.jpg[/img]

230 PM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7167/6778437195_b198f7feb5_o.jpg[/img]

430 PM
[img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6778437331_35ddb4fc2e_o.jpg[/img]

full size images
here: [url]https://www.flickr.com/photos/jic-designs/sets/72157629073889935/show/[/url]

DoubleDogFarm
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Couple Questions.

Even though it's winter, the trees are fully leaf- out?

I would also assume the sun will be higher in the sky. Will this cast different shadows? More sunlight hitting the floor.

Eric

megany
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Location: Maryland (Zone 7a)

Hi there --

I have about a similar amount of sun (maybe less in a few areas, actually -- our yard is plagued by our neighbors' trees...on all sides) and learned a few things that might be helpful this past growing season.

I personally found that despite what the plant labels say, a lot of things can actually be grown in less sun. Some things, however, did not grow well.

I would advise using the sunniest areas for the crops that produce fruit -- like your tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, etc. Our cucumbers did not have much sun and although they did actually grow, we only got a small handful of them (they were HUGE though). Our big tomatoes were in the sunniest part of our yard (still not a full day's worth of sun, but close) and did fine. We planted the cherry tomatoes in the slightly less sunny areas and they also did fine.

To maximize our space, we also hung topsy turvey planters off the side of our house (which gets some sun) and grew peppers.

What I was most amazed by was our eggplant. We had two containers of eggplant in our front yard (slightly more sun than our backyard -- and we couldn't plant them in the ground because of a root problem in the front yard) and they both went crazy. We had so much eggplant we didn't know what to do with it. It was a purple/white variety. We also planted some plain, purple eggplant in an area that doesn't get a full day's worth of sun (less than what the pack said it required) and it did okay, but it was late to produce. We picked them at the very end of the season.

For the shadier areas, our lettuce (and also our spinach) performed incredibly well and didn't bolt until really late in the season because of the decreased sun exposure. Our carrots also did fine and our basil also did incredibly well.

In the end, we had more vegetables than we knew what to do with (there are two of us) and our backyard is considerably smaller. So I would definitely say it's worth a try!
- Megan

dilbertjcg
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Good advice

Doubledog:

Yes, fully leafed out. I live in the south, zone 9a.

Megany:

TY SOOOOO much! I've heard so much back and forth, but have heard from a couple of back yarder's who say that you should just go for it, expect lower yield, but do it anyway. Will definitely take your advice on the placement. Really appreciate it.

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rainbowgardener
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Eric -- it is Florida! :)

It looks very shady for growing much veggies, but good advice from megany.


If you can find a spot that gets 6 hrs sun a day you can try some tomatoes. Otherwise if you stick to leafy things you will do a lot better. All the cool weather crops handle shady conditions better than the warm weather ones. So that is spinach, lettuce, swiss chard and other greens, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, other root crops.

Also some herbs don't mind it a bit shady, especially mints. Also parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, lemon balm, anise hyssop.

Also, that's the backyard. If the front yard is sunnier, you can always rip out some lawn and plant veggies in the front yard. I did that last year--made myself a veggie bed in the middle of the front lawn, since I'm in a similar situation of lots of trees and too much shade.

Also if there is some of the trees/ shrubbery you aren't too attached to, you could always cut some down, to make an opening for sun to come through. I have done that also -- cut down a big tree to make more sun for my tomatoes.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

dilbertjcg
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Ty Rainbow

Rainbow:

Good advice. I've thought about the front yard for a bit. Have two areas I might be able to do it, but seeing as I don't have a fence and its by a well traveled area I was hesitant to put up a garden. Perhaps its just my paranoia talking, and maybe I should just get over myself and go for it anyway.

As for the backyard, that is some great advice on the winter greens. Perhaps I'll do something like this:

Winter greens in dappled shade areas, herbs in a bit closer, and lastly in the very center (where the most sun is), the veggies.

And then just get over myself and throw in some plants in the front yard.

megany
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Re: Ty Rainbow

dilbertjcg wrote:Rainbow:

Good advice. I've thought about the front yard for a bit. Have two areas I might be able to do it, but seeing as I don't have a fence and its by a well traveled area I was hesitant to put up a garden. Perhaps its just my paranoia talking, and maybe I should just get over myself and go for it anyway.
I had the exact same concern and it turned out to be fine. Of course, I don't know anything about your neighbors or the people who will be passing by, so I can't guarantee it'll be the same. But in my case, my paranoia turned out to be unwarranted.
- Megan

dilbertjcg
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paranoia cha cha cha

The more I think about it the more I think I wouldn't even care that much if people took a little of what I had.

I live in an artsy area, but some of the people about 3-4 blocks away are fairly low income. If they need it that bad, I'm ok growing just for the experience.

Heck, maybe the front garden will inspire someone else to plant a garden of their own.

Thanks all!

dilbertjcg
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Great advice!

Marlin, LOVE the idea of giving out veggies.

We only have one community garden here in Pensacola, Manna Food Gardens. They do a great job, but if I could help through my small bit of front yard, that would rock!

Thanks for the great idea.

Tate
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I had a volunteer habanero pepper plant come up in a mostly shady spot in one of my flower beds. I didn't expect it to do much, but it produced at least 80 peppers so you never know.

If you can thin out any of the limbs on your trees I would do so though. The more you can get the better your yields will be.

good luck,

Tate

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Avonnow
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Central Florida

I am in the same boat, live in a regular old neighborhood .25 acre tracks and the house and pool take up most of the yeard. My front yeard gets alot of sun, but I was hesitant - even though it is a nicer area, we have had people come through and pick oranges, mangos and avacodas right off the trees of neighbors (I have caught them) and then drive off. So I could not put my tomato's in the front year - I would literally be furious if I took all this time and had someone take them. I can only grow so much and I well just would rather share with my family then total strangers who choose to steal.

Anywho, I planted my garden the only place I have and while part of the year I have good sun, the other part is a struggle ( 2 story house to the south blocks sun right at peak time) and I will tell you what others say is right, tomato's don't do as well as when they are in sun a longer period during the day, but that being said my peppers, hot and regular and beans and broccoli and lettuce, chard and kohlrabi all have done fine with the sun I have. I have gotten enough both years to can and freeze tomato's,peppers and beans. So not a total lose. I did change one thing this year when I started my seeds - I did put them in the small seeds pots out in the front yard (sunniest area) where they get lots of sun and they are flourishing - may look tacky from the street and I am sure the HOA may say something, but they look so much healthier. Hoping this will give them a good start until I transplant then. I do envy your nice big back yard I am sure you can come up with something and one other thing look for mirrors (garbage , dollar store etc) they reflect light well and do help in my garden during the cooler months. I angle them to reflect the sun on my raised beds. They also attract birds who think they are visiting friends - everyday they come and sit and look at themselves. Good Luck. :D
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

bellabonbon
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I'm sure that your seedlings will grow, but you might not get large vegetables when it comes time to harvest. Does anyone know if you can add extra fertilizer to help compensate for the lack of sunlight?



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