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problem yard

I've been given the task to try and grow things in a small yard at the rear of a three story building, the yard is totally concreted over, brick walls and is north facing and therefore gets zero direct daylight from September till April.

The group who owns the community centre onto the yard wants to grow veggies, however I am doubtful that anything will grow to a worthwhile size - plus everything will have to be in large pots or wall mounted baskets, making it even more difficult!

any help would be greatly received!


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,803

    I'd tell them it's not really feasible unless you can remove at least some of the concrete, and even then - they'll be limited in choice. Raised beds would also be the way forward because the ground will be poor.

    Sorry - that wasn't very positive treehugger  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    If it's as shaded as you say it's pretty well impossible. Is it a gardener who suggested it?
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,776


    Could you put mirrors on the walls to reflect light?

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    Not a gardener who suggested it (surprise surprise!)

    I did tell them it was going to be really difficult, so I have keyed them up for the 'well, I told you so' in mid summer next year when nothing is growing well!

    tho mushrooms are a possibility!

  • Sounds a little like our back yard, except the buildings there are two storey and a 6' brick wall.

    We've managed to grow salad greens, tomatoes - in growbags, in the place where the sun shines the most and a few of the more shade tolerant herbs.  You can grow quite a few leaf crops in deep troughs, even brassicas in large pots.

    Otherwise I'd advise forgetting about the veggies and go for some of the plants which like dry shade.  You could do a lot for local wildlife at the very least.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Painting the walls white would help with the light levels and be a bit less drastic (and cheaper!) than covering them with mirrors.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,626

    Build a raised deck around the edges and have a pool in the centre.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    If you go for the 'Well I told you so' option, be aware as they are not gardeners, they will blame you not the aspect. And what about the time and energy you waste.

    Why not attach a ring to the wall and let them practice goal scoring!
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    I've told them to paint the walls white and i'm getting raised beds and wall baskets built to be installed on the 'south facing' wall i'm hoping during the summer the sun gets high enough o reach the back wall!

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