This post goes out to new gardeners, folks who have recently moved to Texas, and even those who are moving from one part of Austin to another.
I’ll first lay it out quickly for those of you who have a short attention span:
- Pick a place for your garden that receives at least six hours of sun a day.
- Make a small plot the first time around so it’s easier to modify problems.
- Put your garden close to your door or window so you can always see it.
- Avoid shade by trimming trees or bushes when you can.
- If you can’t avoid shade then consider a community garden.
And for those of you who want a little more…
If you’re planting some warm weather greens and root vegetables then they can tolerate slightly less sun, but fruiting veggies must have a minimum of six hours of sun a day and could really benefit from more. Don’t worry about them getting too much sun – shade cloth is always an option. Shade isn’t wholly bad; some of our best gardens are near trees on the west side of the garden which creates a nice afternoon shade.
Don’t give up if you think you can’t find a spot. Try to work around your obstacles. Trim back a few trees if you can or arrange your plants so that the fruiting ones are in the sunniest spots.
Liz makes a good point to plant your garden as close to your door or window as possible so it’s not out of sight out of mind. It’s easier than we’d like to admit to just let it go. While there’s no scientific reason for it, we’re also both strong advocates for front yard gardens when it’s possible because it’s such a great way to meet your neighbors!
We like to err on the optimistic side but we’re also practical. If there’s no way out of your shady yard, consider renting a plot in a community garden. It’s a great option. We maintain a vegetable garden for a local restaurant in a community plot and it’s beautiful and thriving!