Last year I spent a lot of money setting up a 10x 20 garden plot in my backyard. Unfortunately, the neighbors moved away, and someone new moved in, tore out their garden (which was next to mine) and is currently putting up a 6 foot wooden fence! My garden is 20 feet along the length of the fence, which will block all the Eastern sun. Do I have hope? Should I even garden anymore? Which types of vegetables would fare well at all under these conditions? I am in northern Ohio.
In my zone this would not constitute a problem but Im not sure in yours. Full sun is what most veggies require but that means at least 6 hours per day of full sun. Would you be getting 6 hours with the fence in place?
Did you successfully grow veggies there last year? Eastern sun doesn't sun last very long - with or without the fence I'm thinking that spot would be more ideal for a shade flower garden. As you watch the sun progress over your property and get higher through the season, where is your southern exposure? Can you garden there? Have enough room at least for raised beds? Would expanding this existing bed out and away from the fence capture that south sun? I'm not a vegetable gardener and don't know that I've ever read about 'shade' vegetables so I think steadycam is right.
You might want to check your local zoning laws and see whether a solid six-foot fence in a residential area is even permitted. A lot of communities limit heights to 4 feet unless there is a special circumstance.
It wouldn't be a problem here at this latitude either. Sure, check the fence height allowed (it's been 6 feet or slightly more everywhere we've lived) but keep in mind whether you really want to go down the route of creating problems with neighbors.
If it turns out that the maximum height is lower than six feet you can talk to them about it; you don't have to pull out the heavy artillery. They have created a problem with you but a friendly discussion might resolve it. And you don't have to approach them in a confrontational manner; you could just tell them that the maximum height in your zone/area/whatever is four feet, if that's in fact the case, and they might want to know that before they go to the expense of erecting a higher fence and then having to remove it if the zoning officer sees it.
A quick google search for maximum residential fence heights in Ohio suggests that it's more typically four feet, which is what I think it is here, too.
Good points about fence height and being neighborly. Here, fences under 7' require no permit. I have a 6' privacy fence (installed 6" up from the bottom for a little more height without the permit). In Mass, cities and towns retain official fence viewers who settle disputes re size, condition, legality as pertains to property lines. Also fences of any size can't be erected within 5' of any intersection. They're usually called for advice before the fence goes up. Maybe your town has an equivalent?
1) Add a trellis, wire mesh, string... and plant vining forms of beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes (indeterminate types, mostly)... and anything else that will climb, or that you can tie into place. As the sun moves around these plants will get a lot of warm sun through the afternoon, and if you spread them out right (tomato, squash) they will benefit all the more!
2) If the area really becomes too shaded, try the crops that are usually cool season. They may grow through the summer if they are in part shade.
Don't you just hate that. But keep in mind that the sun rise higher in the sky so that what is shaded winter, wll be less so summer. My problem is a large hybrid elm on my neighbor's back yard. Gives shade that lessen as summer approaches. Luckily the sun moves across the sky.
I would love to have a 6ft privacy fence to screen my non-garden neighbors from view. I just have a 4ft llink fence. (sigh)
Really good idea about the climbing veggies! The sun, as it moves and gets higher might also resolve your worry.
blomma, at move in, our backyard was bounded on the one longest side by a chain link fence. Only 15' of the far corner was 'private' as the previous owner had installed arborvitae that was at that point about 25' tall. The remaining 80' was wide open space and invited my neighbor to watch me from his house and then come out and comment on my activity! ('helpful hints' on how to rake leaves, trim the shrubbery or sympathy when he watched me open the pool - there's usually a lot of swearing and a little 'crying' involved! LOL)
After 2 years of constantly feeling creeped out, I installed 15 6' emerald arborvitae (very neat habit, but TALL) along the fence, blocking his yard, deck and windows. I 'cheaped out' the final 8' or so and installed 3 footers (no windows so I didn't care they would take longer to catch up). When he asked me about it. I told him I hated the 'view' of the chain link and wanted to cover it up. Most are over 16' now and he doesn't talk to us anymore. My consolation that I don't have to see his 'moobs' when he's out working in his yard without a shirt (Ack! MY EYES!!!). LOL!
He hasn't talked to us since - but the view from my deck is sweet! I actually thought he'd done something to my trees because the 3 that blocked his 2 favorite windows started to fail after the 3rd year. They stopped growing and turned brown. What a coincidence, right? I realized it was my maple at fault and since I had always planned to take it down I stopped 'planning' and just did it. The extra couple hours of sun was what they needed and they started recovering right away - they got nice and green, started growing. They're catching up nicely to the others now... 2 years ago they only reached the bottom of his windows, this year they're almost to the tops.
If I work at it, I could still thrill to the sight of him in his front yard... but I'm too lazy! LOL!
Jen, it gets better! It's actually a tie between Moob Man and his best friend, 'Sweater Guy', who lives across the street. The 1st time I saw him he was mowing his lawn. It was August and he was wearing a long-sleeved sweater and I was dying just looking at him. So my husband comes out and says, that's not a sweater! He's not wearing anything - that's hair!!! OMG!! Can't tell you how many times this neighborhood has inspired me to want to pluck my eyeballs out and set them on fire! LOL!!
Shaina, you should come visit me here in Scotland, we have had no decent sunlight for 3 summers, had too much rain and most veg never grew properly,
To be honest, good light is better than strong sunlight for most veg however, short spells of sunshine is an added bonus, things like tomato, cucumbers and peppers, things like soft fruit too all like good light and part sun at some point of the day.
Think it's a case of wait and see, but good luck anyway.
You know, WeeNel you've got me rethinking this. My neighbor's weed patch is 'blocked' by my fence and it's thriving. He gets east sun, then plenty of south as it moves until at least early afternoon - lots of 'good' light. If he built a bed only 4 or 5' out from the fence he'd have no problem growing anything. Rainbow, your bed is built out 10' so I don't think this is going to be a problem for you. I know I'd like an update from you at some point.
And WeeNel, now I'm ROTFL! (Hey! Didn't think I'd get to use my new vocab. lesson so soon!) You're right about me! LOL!!
Are we saying that now when you think about it, your neighbour has done you a huge favour by installing that ghastly fence ha, ha, ha, OH and ROLF !!!! too.
he has hidden from view all those weeds, sure I know the weeds cant remember what side of the fence they are supposed to be growing at however, you can always dig them up and pass / throw / or hand deliver them back to the original owners to decorate there own plot, who knows maybe they are just too stupid or selfish to understand what being neighbourly really is.
Whatever just try stay pleasant, you never know, he just might sell his home onto someone even worce, LOL.
Thanks for the help everyone! I resolved to not be discouraged and I planted a few things and they're growing well so far. Luckily, it seems the morning sun isn't as important as I thought. I didn't know that 6 hours of sun meant full sun, and that's definitely been helpful in my planting. I hope all goes well throughout the season but I have high hopes!
rainbow, I think your veggie garden is going to be just fine and you'll be trying to figure out what to do with it all at the end of summer! Keep in touch...
You're right about the weeds not knowing their correct address. My neighbors over-the-fence are very nice but there's just no way to ask them to do something about it as after all, it is THEIR yard! LOL! I'm fighting a very aggressive invader right now and have managed to keep it in the one spot so far but only by pulling it daily. I can't get a grip on it because it's spreading underground via the extensive root system. I sprayed weed killer under the fence and now I'm considering sacrificing the tulip bulbs in order to dig it out. Hope you have a good season!