Friday, February 5, 2010

Gardening in the shade.

I know, I know. It's raining and cold and the ground is muddy and everything is brown and numb.

But it's time to think about the planting season.

Our house faces east. A large maple tree shades most of the front yard and the woods alongside the creek keeps the back yard in shade most of the day. The only consistently sunny spot is the side yard - the NORTH, no less, where I've tucked my single 4 x 4 square foot raised bed garden. It did pretty well despite the challenges of not optimal light or positioning. Well enough that I'm adding another bed. But I'm thinking about putting it in the front yard, right next to the street, which is the only spot in the entire yard that has wonderful sunlight for vegetables.

I say I'm "thinking about" it because a raised bed garden isn't decorative. A streetside location means those darling dogs that amble by each day are likely to "water" it regularly, when they aren't doing the other business.  (One of our neighbor's dogs destroyed the winter plantings when she decided to poopy and scratch right in the middle of the bed. Darn it.)  For one thing, that's gross. For another, dog urine has an unfortunate effect on soil chemistry.

So, which is better: great sun and animal waste? or southern light for 5 hours a day and some protection from most canine passers-by?

I'll keep thinking, at least for another week, because it's almost time to get those peas in the ground.

(For those of you interested in trying out this very practical and easy-to-manage gardening technique, Dunwoody Nature Center has a square foot gardening class coming up, as well as some cool offerings in birding, native plants, garden tools, and photography!)

1 comment:

  1. Donna: My 3' x 3' "mailbox garden" is consistently my most productive, and I met a bunch of neighbors, too. And the mail carrier loved the cherry tomatoes each day :)

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!