Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shaded

Making some interesting observations this year.

I did know that my bean bed was far too shaded to be a good garden. That's part of what sent me on this journey and the reason I made both the nearby raised beds.

This is my third year doing crop rotation. Every year I add some kind of bed (and some new plants). I still end up with a lot of plant overflow, especially when much loved veggies are stuck in the smaller beds.

This year the overflow is tomatoes. Last year it was potatoes. I've taken to growing extras in 5 gal containers on the deck or in the side yard.

A new observation this year. Tomatoes grown in the containers, in full sunlight, on the deck are more than twice the size of those in the raised bed. I think this photo illustrates why. Hemmed in by cedar, a roof of maple and oak boughs. This is what the sky looks like to the lowly tomato.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. Cutting down the oak is impossible (its a neighbors). The maple is beautiful. At some point I may have to give it up, if we stay here long enough and I get desperate enough.

Until then I may have to create 2 different crop rotations so the sunlovers are always in the sun. Or maybe get more 5 gal buckets.

2 comments:

Aimee said...

Hi Tam, this happened to us in our house last year. There was great sun all over the yard...in the winter. Then all the trees leafed out and there was a lot of sun. We'd planned and planted our garden and it didn't get as much sun as we'd hoped. Things didn't do too badly, but them our tomatos could see a bit more sky than yours. =)
Perhaps you have neighbors or friends close by with lots of sunny yard that would be willing to have you put a garden in? That's what we were going to do this year (until we bought a house!). We were set to have 2 or 3 plots in different community gardens, and plant in the yards of 2 or 3 neighbors. It was going to be some work! But there were a lot of people willing to donate yards.

Tam said...

I'd love to do that Aimee but most of the neighborhood has the same problem. The houses on both sides (whom we're on good terms with) have more trees than we do. One of them even gave up trying to grow grass and covered their entire backyard in gravel!

The only alternative is using a few of the new community gardens, starting one at our church, or volunteering to do the garden at the local historical site. All of those are a drive so I can't do them right now. Dean and I have been talking them over though. We're both interested in donating food time to the community as well.

See, you got me to talk about a future post! ;) Guess I better find those pictures so I can get going on that.