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Where to put the trellis? shade issues

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Where to put the trellis? shade issues

Post  tkdtara84 on 4/13/2011, 10:42 pm

After struggling (and failing miserably) to draw out a garden plan in excel to post here, I'm just hoping the "chart" below will give you a picture of my situation.

I have a small portion of usable yard that has sunlight. We live in a very old (1890s) neighborhood with very large trees. We have one large tree on the north side and a section of woods to the south. Our house is very tall and shades part of the garden from some afternoon sun.

I've located the boxes about 40 ft. from the edge of the woods and 20 ft. from the tree. The house only shades the 4x4 and the north 4x8 very late in the afternoon. The woods aren't giving us any trouble yet, but it's hard to say until they leaf out. I've located the southern most 4x8 out of range of the woods shade, but that pushed my northern 4x8 into the house shade and possible tree shade when it leafs out.

My question is this: I want to trellis two veggies-- tomatoes and peas. Where should I put the trellis? If I do it on the north side (meaning I would have four trellisable squares), that puts the tomatoes in the shade (from the house) for some of the afternoon. Do you think this would be a problem? My other option is to put a trellis on the east side of a box, but then I would be shading my other crops.

I can try to post a picture tomorrow, if that would help. I'm guessing this will just have to be a trial year. Our yard is also rolling/sloped somewhat, and heavily shaded from all the trees, so this really does seem to be the best (or only) place for them, but it's certainly less than ideal. Any help is appreciated!




W
N S
E


Tree

-----4x8 box----- 4x4 (strawberries) -----4x8 box---- woods


house
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tkdtara84

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Re: Where to put the trellis? shade issues

Post  dizzygardener on 4/18/2011, 2:18 pm

For tall things like tomatoes you want to trellis them in the North or the west.

The afternoon shade should be fine so long as that spot gets at least 6-8 hours of direct full sun during the day.

Hope that helps, and sorry I missed this one last week. The forums have been moving so fast lately.
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Black Walnuts

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/18/2011, 3:41 pm

Hi! I am brand new to the forums but when I saw your zone and location I thought I'd lend some of my experiences. Please take a good look at your mature trees and see if any of them are black walnuts. I live in an old neighborhood in central IL and most of my backyard is a black walnut tree. Smile They are very common in our area of the midwest. You'll know them because they drop those green-tennisball-looking-things every fall and the walnuts are smaller and have a much more "prickly" looking shell than English walnuts.

These trees secrete a chemical called juglone which can cause certain veggies (especially tomatoes) to fail and wilt terribly. Your MM will DEF help with that (which is one thing I LOVED about SFG) but if at all possible, try to get your tomatoes and peppers as far as possible from black walnut and be VIGILANT about taking any leaves, sticks etc OFF your garden beds. If you must plant near a black walnut, I would try and make an actual box bottom so that your juglone-sensitive veggies don't come into contact with any water runoff out of your soil. (I'm using plywood and raising my boxes up on blocks just about 8 inches or so.)

Here is more info from some of the extension offices about what is black walnut tolerant and what is not. The last one is a Purdue document so should be fairly close to your area. Smile

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1148.html

http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/black-walnut-toxicity

http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/HO/HO-193.pdf

I hadn't seen this mentioned in any of the midwest threads and I, myself, wasn't aware of it when I first tried to grow tomatoes under my tree the "old fashioned" way, until an agriculture education teacher filled me in. So I thought I would pass it along, in case it applies to you.

Happy planting! Smile
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