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I have a lovely raised bed (about 12 foot diameter) which houses what's left of a lawn. The bed is half shaded by conifers, half sunny. The grass does not grow too well in the shady area, so I would like to do something else with this site. I would like to make it into a wildflower bed, or use it as a veggie plot for larger veg that I can't put into containers, such as broccolli, squashes and sweetcorn. Can anyone advise what may be best for this site?
If grass does grow well it doesn't sound like a veg plot. There are wild flowers for every situation. What's the soil like?
Conifers have lots of fine surface roots which take all the moisture from the soil, that area wouldn't be good for veg.
My neighbours have 3x 20-25 ft conifers on the other side of our shared fence, as this is the sunniest area of my garden I was thinking of starting a veg plot, but a couple of you are saying it won't be good for veg. Do you know how far away from conifer a veg plot should be and what about other plants, ie shrubs and flowers. I was hoping to start transforming my garden this year, which, at present is mostly grass and fence.
If your garden is mostly grass you'll be able to tell by how well the grass is doing. If the grass isn't green and growing well through a reasonable season then the same will apply to veg
Hi Lorraine ,can you give us a rough plan of you garden or upload a couple of pictures so as we have a better understanding of your garden ,but i think raised beds might be your best option
nutcutlet wrote (see)
Hi Lorraine If your garden is mostly grass you'll be able to tell by how well the grass is doing. If the grass isn't green and growing well through a reasonable season then the same will apply to veg
Thanks Nutcutlet, thats reassuring as the grass does grow well. Just didn't want to channel my efforts into something which would give poor rewards.
Will get my camera out, clogherhead, I would welcome any advice I can get. I was thinking of raised beds as the ground can be quite soggy in winter and quite dry in summer (or perhaps I should say less wet weather!)
Here's my lovely garden - imagination required! The photo gives the appearance that my garden is smaller that it is. The top part has a slight slope from the tatty fence towards the trellis fence in the middle. It doesnt drain very quickly after significant rain and forms pools of water in various dips/hollows as the ground isn't very level and during drier periods the soil tends to be quite solid - possibly because it isn't turned enough.
Any thoughts / suggestions / advice would be welcome. Just dont know where or how to start improving it.
Now I'm a bit confused. Do you mean the lawned area the other side of the trellis? I was imagining a round 12" diameter raised bed with grass in it that wasn't growing very well. That looks like a largish triangular lawn with a long thin bed at the foot of a fence much longer than 12" long. Are you wanting to keep the lawn or make a raised bed along the fence or what? You can improve a lawn by sticking a fork in it and wiggling it every few inches, then throwing a mix of sand and compost all over it, brushing with a stiff brush into all the little holes, then sprikle lawn fertiliser over it. A lot of work, but it works.
Sorry Busy-Lizzie & everyone else, I appear to have hi-jacked Alison's post. I'll re-post.
My mistake too, I hadn't noticed the name change from Alison to Lorraine!
Hi Everyone - the above is a pic of my raised circular shaded lawn. As you can see, the grass is a bit scrubby and covered in moss. The raised bed could be cleared out entirely and filled with whatever soil type/drainage layers would suit veggies or wildflowers - it all depends on whether the conifer shade would be an issue.
As it's raised, though a bit hard to see how raised, I don't think the conifer roots would be a big problem, but the shade would mean growing plants that grow in shade. You could remove all the grass, improve the soil with compost and well rotted manure then divide it into four sections, 2 in the shade bit and 2 in the sun. Use bricks or some sort of edging stones. Then plant each section differently eg brassicas in one sunny section, squash and sweetcorn in another, and veg that can manage with some shade in the others. Is the shady bit shady all the time? Here is a site about shade tolerant veg.
Thank you Busy-Lizzie - the list of shade tolerant veggies look excellent - I love Spinach, Kale and Lettuce and there are some wonderful herbs in there too. I shall make a start this year and see how I get on - many thanks for your help!