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I have a small yard at the back of my terrace house. It is warm, sheltered, but with no direct sunlight. I would like to grow fruit or veg in grow-bags, but am not sure I would be very successful. What would you suggest?



I would say that the biggest problem is whether you can expose your fruits and veggies to enough sunlight. Although this might be a more drawn out method, you could achieve this by planting in large pots on a wooden staging to lift the plants higher up off the ground.
I would try tomatoes, cucumbers, French beans and lettuce and see how things progress. The ripening of the tomatoes would be key to your problem.

2 Apr, 2016


Thanks Jimmy. I don't think I'd be able to get containers high enough to make any real difference. I have been reading that certain leafy greens don't need direct sun, so I might try some of those.

2 Apr, 2016


Would a window box on an upstairs windowsill get any sun? If so you could try one of the "tumbling" tomatoes meant for hanging baskets.

2 Apr, 2016


Sun is essential for most fruit and veg. Tomatoes, for example, simply won't ripen properly without it.

I would suggest growing herbs like parsley, basil and mint, all of which are fine in shade, and a variety of leafy salads.

2 Apr, 2016


I agree with everybody else. Most fruits and veggies need at least 6 hours of direct, unobstructed sun per day - every day. What about the roof? I heard of people in the UK renting allotments. Is that a possibility? Perhaps Claire can give you more information on this. She lives in the UK and would be a good person for you to contact. Here is her YouTube link. You can write her.

3 Apr, 2016


I also 'garden' in a small back yard - and fairly well enclosed by neighbouring houses - but I do have a sunny corner - at least when there is any noticeable sunshine I have a corner that gets direct sun for about 3-4 hours in the early afternoons June-August when the sun is high enough to clear the rooftops.

If you haven't already done so, it is worth taking the time to do a proper 'survey' of the light in your yard - you may be surprised at how much light you do get. Plot the areas of sunshine over several weeks. Of course, you need a couple of nice sunny days to start off with!

You may also find that if you do have a sunny corner you can use the heat reflected from brickwork to improve your growing conditions.

ps I don't grow veg but remember my grandfather used to grow rhubarb and leeks in a terrace back yard (given that he had them growing up through clay pipes suggests that they don't need a great deal of sunshine)

4 Apr, 2016

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