Veggie garden on the north side of the house?

salem_girl(Zone 5a)January 10, 2005

There's a bit of a disagreement in my household about the location for my garden. My "DH" refuses to let me put a garden on the south side of the house. We just moved in and I think we're going through control isssues living together. There's a beautiful side yard there perfect for a veggie garden. He says it's unsightly and doesn't want it to be in view when people pull up to the house. (Corner lot S/E facing the road.) He also wants the area reserved for the rare occasion that we might have friends over to play frisbee. The west side will be fenced off soon due to a new pup and the east is the driveway and the precious "front of the house". Obviously there's some tension and disagreement, so forgive my sarcasm please. I'd like to know if planting a veggie garden that will be either behind a fence or behind a house on the north side is even worth the time? He seems to think that it doesn't matter in the summer when the sun is more "overhead" (I've brought him out at noon to see the fully shaded north side this winter)Should I give up on the garden idea? Do you have valid points I can respond with? Am I making something out of nothing? Has anyone had success in my situation?

Please respond!! I'm ready to give up.

Thanks! Salem_girl (S/E WI)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used to garden on the north side of a three-story building, so I know something of the creeping seasonal nature of deep shade! Can't the frisbie be thrown on the north side of the house?? Of course a south or west vegetable garden would be your best bet, and if you could work out some sort of compromise, your veggies would thank you for it. Whether or not you lose a lot of sun later in the season sort of depends on how tall the house is. I grow vegetables just north of my garage, but a garage isn't very tall--by late summer, the shade starts getting perilously close to my little crops. I feel things like tomatoes suffer toward the end of summer for the shortening days as it is without plunging them into building shade. On the other hand, you may be able to grow perfectly nice herbs, lettuce etc. without a tremendous amount of sun.

If you're not in a huge hurry, sit tight for a season and watch where the sun is early, mid- and late-season, and plant a few pots in the meantime. I'm also wondering if you can sort of extrapolate something--watch for when in the season the sun finally hits your intended garden patch. Count the days to the longest day of the year (about 6/21), and then count out as many days after that to maybe get some rough idea of when the garden will be again plunged into the gloom.

Another thought--if your DH is concerned about the potential aesthetic untidiness of a vegetable garden, you can probably do a few things to make it beautiful--extreme rigidity in your rows, borders of colorful swiss chard, attractive trellising, whatever. Or go for the "cottage" concept of growing ornamental and edible things together, so it looks more or less like a flower garden but still feeds you. If you find yourself anywhere near the Chicago Botanic Garden come spring, drag your DH and make him look at their vegetable gardens, many of which are functional and beautiful.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pondwelr(z5 WI)

I garden on the northwest side of my yard with great success.The house shadow is there all morning, but by 11am
or so, starts getting sun, and stays sunny all day. I did
install the bed quite a way out and away from the house, however. I plan to move or dismantle it this spring, but it was a good producer for 6 yrs. I made it from Trex planks, notched at the ends, so it was raised and filled with all
compost and top soil.
You could try the same idea of a 'moveable' bed, and see if
the north side exposure works for you.
Personally, I think beds contained within planks, block or
whatever, are pretty cool looking, and very neat.
Perhaps DH will agree once he sees how neat a raised, contained veggie bed really is.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
salem_girl(Zone 5a)

Woooo Hooooo! Well, I posted this here and in the veggie garden forum and voila success! We spent alot of time talking about everything brought up and agreed to move the doggie area to the NW and put the garden on the west side. It'll miss only a little sun in the A.M. because of the garage, but it's very easy access and a complete comprimise. We don't comprimise on much of anything. He gives in or I give in and we both feel frustrated. This was a big success and I thank you for your help. Tomtato growth and relationship growth!!!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Stinkypink said," If you find yourself anywhere near the Chicago Botanic Garden come spring, drag your DH and make him look at their vegetable gardens, many of which are functional and beautiful."

The train goes from Kenosha to Chicago. I haven't taken it yet, but my sister has many times and loves it. My goal is to learn to take the train this year. ( Dear posters on this forum gave me the website, but I bookmarked it on the other computer. I'll see if I can find it for you.) Unfortunately, I live close to Milwaukee, so I have to drive to Kenosha to pick up the train. Maybe I'll see ya on the train!

Congrats on your compromise. My husband have a 'No tub, no door,' saying, leftover from when we designed a house together. Whew!!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can find schedule and fare info at The station (is it the Braeside stop? I'm not sure) by the CBG ( is within easy walking distance on a nice day, but I'm thinking it would seem like a hike in the cold or rain. But then again, you probably wouldn't go on a day like that. One of the nice things about coming on the train (or a bicycle for those of us who live closer) is that garden admission is free--unless you arrive by car, in which case there's a parking fee of about ten bucks.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 9:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
salem_girl(Zone 5a)

Thank you very much for all your help! I can't wait for the foot of snow to clear!

Maybe I'll go find the train station and have an adventure...again, not until the snow clears!! :)


    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 8:31AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Flowering Orchid
I have a house plant that my mother had started and...
Garden Soil Naperville area
Looking for a bulk supplier of "Garden Soil",...
Which tree to choose in front of house
The village removed a tree in front of my house, because...
Year round outdoor containers for Chicago
I would like to know what plants, either flowers or...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™