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Renting a flat without sun.

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Renting a flat without sun.

Post  Ducky87 on 2/19/2012, 1:57 am

I grew up with a large family garden and feel desperate to get back into it, but unable. I'm renting a flat that is stuffed into a hill and surrounded on all sides by a large (concrete and tin) fence. We have a laughably small "garden" that seems to grow only rosemary as it gets only 3-5 hours of sun a day during the summer and less during the winter. I've got a 1.5 miter frost box that is the only thing in the back "yard"
that gets sunlight in the winter. It's a wooden box with plastic
covering to help prevent frost killing my herbs. The front of my place gets a more even amount of light year round, but it would have to be right outside the front door partially behind a column otherwise it might get run over. Also it's all paved out the front. Honestly I would love any pointers.

Has anyone successfully built a box on concrete? Is there a problem with a hanging garden (one that is on wheels or several feet above ground)? My grandparents had one in the states but they lived in a much more temperate climate then here. Would I have problems with the roots drying out or freezing during winter? Would I be more successful if I tried growing only shady plants? Ideally I'd like to grow broccolini, several types of lettuce, cucumbers, and capsicum (although I doubt I could do capsicum in this place). Anyone??

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Re: Renting a flat without sun.

Post  walshevak on 2/19/2012, 6:37 am

Do have the ALL NEW SQUAREFOOT GARDENING BOOK or access to it. It is the SOP manual for our method of gardening and is awsome.

Check out this set up and see if you can adapt to your sunny spots.


i believe you are just going into winter, but are you in an area of hard freezes, light frosts, or year round above freezing. My knowledge of Australia is not that good and a picture of the areas where you get sun might help folks on the forum give more accurate advice.



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Re: Renting a flat without sun.

Post  Ducky87 on 2/20/2012, 3:52 am

Yes, I'm just heading into fall here. But I figured now is the time to build the foundation(s) and figure out what I can and can't plant.

Pretty much all my gardening experience is in a completely different climate. So although my mom apparently did use the Sfg method, I moved from huckleberries and apples to oranges and mangoes. So in theory I'm not a complete newbie, but I might as well be. I've never read any of the theories behind my mom's gardening, just followed her advice. And her advice doesn't work as well down here, especially without knowing what to plant. Rolling Eyes

I live an area with an average of 25 inches a year (although it's been very very wet lately so we might usually get less). We get snow in the surrounding areas that are a little higher, so we do get some good frost. Last fall our first frost killed my basil overnight -went from beautifully green to black in one night. However, the lows usually don't get too far below freezing and say in the 30 & 40's F/single digits C. Our summers usually hit the high 90'sF/30's during their worst, but stay around the 80's/20's. For the well traveled Americans -for the most part the climate here is similar to Spokane, Washington, but during the summer we get some storms that would rival Oklahoma's tornado season. Also the frosts never get as bad as they did in Olympia, Washington (which would get frosts so hard the dirt crunched).

The plants that grow amazing here are mostly evergreen from what I can tell-tons of rosemary, juniper bushes, pine, etc. Lavender acts like a wildflower here and seems to love this area. It's also pretty common to see Jasmine, mandarins, strawberries, and grapes growing well but those look like they get a bit more of love. About an hour out of town (in any direction) we have small foot hills that are full of apple and peach orchards as well as a small winery. Not sure if that helps anyone figure out the kind of climate here, but that's the best info I have so far. I'm still learning about my area.

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Re: Renting a flat without sun.

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2012, 7:25 am

Good Morning and Welcome!

Your climate sounds quite similar to many areas of northern California - just a bit milder than my hometown. The area I grew up in got to mid-20's for lows in the winter and low 100's for summer highs, but the plants you describe are what I saw EVERYWHERE! Pear orchards and wine grapes were the main crops in our valley, but many of the surrounding valleys were known for apples instead of pears. Lavender, rosemary, jasmine, citrus - especially lemons and oranges, persimmons, evergreens, oaks, etc. Rosemary was a basic 'go to' for cheap landscape filler in parking lots!

If you can get or make one, a small table top box could work in your front yard. Boffer is the king of table tops, and he does Heated Hoop Houses (H3's!). A small one with some heat might be just what you need for winter!


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