huge mistake?

coengMay 14, 2012

This spring, I made an enormous investment money-wise and time-wise building a nice 16x16 fenced garden with raised beds, only to realize this past weekend that I may have placed it too close to the elm trees on my property.

On Saturday while doing yardwork I noticed that I didn't get full sun on the garden until high noon. It only received filtered morning sunlight through the tree branches.

Will my tomato crop be a complete failure? I'm fearing the worst here. I'm going to plant them this week.

The thing I forgot to account for was the weight of the leaves on the elm trees and how it causes the branches to spread out. It looks a lot different now than it did in early March.

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You should be fine. Tomatoes need about six hours of sun, and between the filtered morning sun and all afternoon of full sun you will have plenty of light. Mine only get about five hours of sun at best and are quite healthy. I'm sure my production is lower than I would have in full sun, but I still average a good 10 to 20 beefsteaks per plant.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:39AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah you should be ok. The worst that can happen is the plants stretching some - getting a bit more leggy than usual - so you'd need to compensate with your supports in some way. But if removing or even shortening a few tree branches here and there is possible it would be of help.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:41AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

At some point you may want to have an arborist in to trim. They can thin out the branches to let in more light, but not harm the look or health of the trees. I had it done two years ago when I noticed my yard had gotten significantly more shaded by my trees. It made a big difference. I'll probably have it done every few years to keep up the level of sun in the yard as the trees grow.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:16AM
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suprneko(9b/sunset 16 NorCal, S. Bay)

Last year, my hubs planted the tomatoes along the back fence so they got zero sun in the morning. They still produced, not our best year but it was ok. I'm sure you'll get a decent amount of fruit, good luck! :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Thanks for the votes of confidence...I feel MUCH better now!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:44PM
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