Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Opportunity to Expand

This is the view of our yard from across the street.  When Larry's parents lived here, my mother-in-law did not have all the flower beds I do.  She had a couple flower beds, and her main focus was growing vegetables in the garden to the right of the garage.

Next is the view of the yard across the street.  The man who owns the house, which is to the right of the garage, and not in the pic, is renovating it, now that the tenants who had lived there a long time have moved out.  He and his family used to live there, so he is a friend of the family.  His daughter and her 2 children plan on moving in. Today, he asked Larry if he could ask me if I'd like to garden next to the garage.  Larry told me about it, thankfully, and so I had the owner show me the area.  Larry's mother used to garden there, but when she did, either all those trees weren't there or they weren't as big.

Here's a closer view:

It looks like it gets sun!  I didn't measure it, but my veggie garden is about 15 by 45 feet, and this looks bigger than that.  I could have wide paths, and leave the area under the trees unplanted, or else find some flowers that grow under evergreen trees.  Any suggestions?  This would be a great place for crop rotation.  I could put in lots of potatoes, onions and tomatoes there!

Here's the view from the east edge, facing our yard, which can be seen across the street.  I assume the dumpster will be returned to where it goes when the work is done on the house. A fence is planned for across the front, but when I said I was getting ideas for flowers to make the area look really nice, he said maybe he wouldn't put a fence in, then.

I have summers off work.  Since I'm no longer gardening at church, I'm thinking I could keep up.  Also, I could plant much fewer pots to save water and the time spent watering.  I tried to look up how close a person can garden to pine trees, but didn't find any information.  If you have experience gardening near evergreens, please let me know how close you can plant things to them.  Thanks!

Scroll down to the post from Saturday to see some "garden fashion".  


  1. Susan .. that is such a big area ! .. wow .. that is a lot to take on but also very nice of your neighbor to offer it as garden space to you .. I would think raised beds with pathways in-between would work well .. better soil than competing with the trees for water etc .. a big project but you would get a lot out of it too!
    Good luck : )

  2. Evergreens tend to have more tap roots than spreading roots. You should be able to get within about 10' of them with no real problems. You can also do some raised planters or just pile new soil on top of what is there already. Be sure to check the pH of the soil. Pine needles can really acidify the soil around them. If you plan to grow tomatoes, you'll need to add lots of lime.

    I wish my neighbor would offer me some of his backyard. His is full sun from morning til late afternoon. I only have about 6 hours of sun where I plant my veggies. Hopefully that will change next year when I expand the beds and do some terracing or leveling with heavy machinery.

    Congrats! Just don't overdo it. It should be fun.

  3. a good morning.
    what a nice offer. i am sure you will figure out just the right thing to do with the space. have a wonderful day.

  4. That is nice of your neighbor, but with all those trees I would do a raised bed otherwise the roots will
    interrupt your vegetables. I should
    know I have about 15 evergreens and
    they are a pain!@# I had to put raised beds just to plant near them.
    Good Luck!

  5. Take him up on the offer!!! My neighbor has an evergreen and can't even grow grass under it! Good luck!

  6. How exciting to be offered all that space to create a garden. Just this morning, my honey looked out the kitchen window and said he was going to have a couple of old scruffy trees removed, and said it would make a nice garden spot for me. You can imagine how wide my eyes grew as my mind immediately imagined what would grow there. I asked how soon are we going to get the job done. *chuckle* as if I didn't have enough garden already, but hey! I am semi-retired and need to fill my days.

  7. How lucky to have all that extra garden! Sounds really exciting.

  8. Thanks for the suggestions! I just posted what I did in the area today. It was a hurry up before the rain comes affair, and I loved every minute of it!

    Hey Keewee, if you're like me, you won't have trouble filling in the extra space.

  9. I garden under tall pine trees and plant right around them. Of course, some areas are shady and have to have shade tolerant plants. Pine trees don't have many spreading roots, and if you run into any big ones, just plant around them. You seem to have a pretty open area and shouldn't have as much trouble as I do.
    Good luck.

    Alway Growing


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