aceofspadeskb
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Issues with nearby fence

My vegetable garden in the home we recently moved into is placed in the corner of a rectangular lot and is bordered on 2 sides by a white vinyl fence. We had a very unimpressive harvest last year and I was wondering if the high reflection off the fence could be an issue.?

The fence unfortunately has to stay.

We tried planting lines of corn and pole beans along the fence last year and neither grew very well.

We do know from soil tests that the soil was in desperate need of fertilizer and we have addressed that issue.

Thanks in advance!

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GardeningCook
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

I doubt it's the fence & more about the soil. Fertilizer notwithstanding, what is the soil like? Clay? Sandy? Etc., etc. No amount of fertilizer is going to solve poor soil. And where in the country are you located?
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

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applestar
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

If the fence is solid, maybe it's more question of them casting shadows? Also, what is on the other side of the fence, and what is being done to the ground there?

Though very often done this way, it's actually not a good idea to have your vegetable garden adjoining/abutting the fence line and property line. I admit to making the same mistake, but my neighbor has been using a lawn service, so I'm in the process of redesigning the garden beds along the fence in an effort to create a buffer zone and barrier.
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imafan26
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

I made the same mistake. I put my garden bed up against a 5 ft high hollow tile wall. Most of the plants grew away from the wall and it was hard to weed since I had no choice but to go into the bed to do it. The only things that actually would attach to the hot wall was night blooming cereus (it actually went over the wall), and vandas which don't mind the heat and are normally climbers anyway. They usually climb trees though.

I ended up moving my vegetable garden over and used the bed only for the potted citrus trees.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

aceofspadeskb
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

Thanks for the quick responses! The soil is top soil we had trucked in. The top soil is about 2 feet deep on top of the worst clay/rocky soil immagineable. I am located in Smithfield Utah, USA. We had the soil tested by Utah State University and from the results they recommended tilling in 3" of soil prep last fall and adding 16-16-8 as well. The neighboring yards are undeveloped. Houses are there, but no yards yet. Since the area is still a developing subdivison, the garden is in full sun all day other than any shade the fence offers on the west side.

Unfortunately our lot is not large and this really is the only place for a garden.

imafan26
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

Too bad even moving it over three or four feet can really make a difference.

The wall not only shades but reflects heat. If you are in a cold place like Utah that might not be that bad a thing, but unless the garden is facing south you will have to deal with shadows at some point and the problem with poor air circulation.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

aceofspadeskb
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

Is there anything I can cover up the fence with? I really don't care low bad the fence looks. Cheap bed sheets maybe?

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jal_ut
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

Hi neighbor. I really doubt that the fence is much of a problem. Work on the soil.
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GardeningCook
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

jal_ut wrote:Hi neighbor. I really doubt that the fence is much of a problem. Work on the soil.
As I posted before - DITTO!!!
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CharlieBear
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Re: Issues with nearby fence

Also watch the hydration levels. If you let the beds dry out too much between watering or they remained somewhat water logged that will also greatly reduce your crop. Note also that cropping is simply better some years than others as dictated by weather patterns as well. Your soil test suggests that the addition of more organic materials would be very helpful. That would help with watering as well. If the soil dries out too quickly as it is, the organic material will slow that down. On the other hand if the soil is too heavily clay, more organic material will make the soil better drained. Spacing could also be an issue, if you placed some of the larger plants to closely together they wouldn't do very well or if they had to compete for water with a lot of weeds again the yield would be down. Moister testers are fairly inexpensive if you are having trouble telling by feel.

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