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Tomatoes...North or South side? Toplef10Tomatoes...North or South side? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Tomatoes...North or South side? I22gcj10Tomatoes...North or South side? 14dhcg10

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Tomatoes...North or South side?

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Post  pattipan 4/9/2010, 1:20 pm

Question...
If my 2' x 8' and 2' x 6' boxes are turned short ends to the East and West...do I really need to put my trellis on the North side of the box only? The reason I ask this is that I am going to plant two heirloom tomatoes and I want to keep them as far apart as I can. In other words... are there any significant reasons to not put the trellis on the south side of a box?

Also, it an aesthetic thing, I want my tomatoes trellises to flank both sides of my garden. Smile

Here's the layout of our SFG. Top/Bottom is East /West and North is on the right side.

Tomatoes...North or South side? Pattip10
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Post  Wyldflower 4/9/2010, 1:26 pm

I think the reason to trellis the north side is to prevent the tall climbers from shading the plants to the south. If you put your trellises east and west, then they would give morning or afternoon shade to the neighboring squares. I think if you plant lettuce and spinach and other cooler crops next to your east/west trellises, it may benefit both crops. Of course, I'm just a newbie, and don't KNOW all this stuff... I've been reading a lot, and I'm trying to think logically (HAH!)

Your garden is big enough that you will probably be fine with full sun in the center portions.
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Post  pattipan 4/9/2010, 2:01 pm

I guess my question really is...Why does Mel prefer the North side as opposed to the South for the vertical frame?

Last year all my vertical frames were on the North side. We added new boxes on the South side of the garden and I'm thinking we'll mirror their frames to their counterparts on the North side. Does that sound confusing??? I reworded that several times and still not sure it makes sense! ;-)

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Post  Wyldflower 4/9/2010, 2:04 pm

If you put your vertical on the north side, then everything to the south of it will get full sun, and not be shaded by the plants growing in the vertical plane.
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Post  pattipan 4/9/2010, 2:27 pm

@Wyldflower wrote:If you put your vertical on the north side, then everything to the south of it will get full sun, and not be shaded by the plants growing in the vertical plane.

Shade travels west to east. So if to prevent shading were the only reason then technically it should not make a difference whether one puts their vertical frame on the North or South side of the box. I thought perhaps there was some other reason...windbreak perhaps???

I think I'll go get "the book" and look it up. Cause now I'm just curious!

I'll probably end up putting them on the south side anyway! It will make a nice walled garden that way. :-) My yard where they are located is wide open to the North and South, i.e. no fence. Church yard to the North...bank drive-thru to the south.

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Post  nancy 4/9/2010, 3:04 pm

My back door faces south and all of my sun-loving flowers are in the backyard. My front yard faces north and my front porch gets no sun at all, so my shade-loving plants are there (including my gorgeous bleeding hearts that are in bloom right now! Tomatoes...North or South side? Icon_biggrin ). Think of the house as a huge vertical trellis. The squares just north of the trellis would get at least partial shade all day, but east, west, & south will get lots of sun. I hope my analogy helps - it's hard to see in your mind's-eye sometimes.
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Post  pattipan 4/9/2010, 3:16 pm

@nancy wrote:My back door faces south and all of my sun-loving flowers are in the backyard. My front yard faces north and my front porch gets no sun at all, so my shade-loving plants are there (including my gorgeous bleeding hearts that are in bloom right now! Tomatoes...North or South side? Icon_biggrin ). Think of the house as a huge vertical trellis. The squares just north of the trellis would get at least partial shade all day, but east, west, & south will get lots of sun. I hope my analogy helps - it's hard to see in your mind's-eye sometimes.


Interesting. My house sits directly west of my SFG (BIG two-story). Until about 5-6:00 p.m. the garden is in the sun, then the shade from the house moves over it.

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Post  Cornerstone 4/9/2010, 3:23 pm

Take a look at the graphic on this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_path. Since the sun is never "directly" above us, tall plants grown on the south edge (south not south east or south west) will shade the rest of or at most of the rest of the box. My boxes are about 3' apart. My tomatoes Grown on the north edges will partial shade the first row in the box directly behind it. If I planted the in on the south edge they would shade mos of the box.
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Post  boffer 4/9/2010, 3:30 pm

@pattipan wrote:
Shade travels west to east. So if to prevent shading were the only reason then technically it should not make a difference whether one puts their vertical frame on the North or South side of the box.
Patti

If the sun passed directly over your head everyday, that would be true. I believe that only happens at the equator. If you watch the sun midday, it will be coming from a southernly direction. That's why Boy Scouts in OHio are taught that moss grows on the north side of trees, where the sun don't shine.

Hopefully, Ray or Daisyhill will join this thread from down under, and insist that the trellis should go on the south side!
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Post  Wyldflower 4/9/2010, 3:33 pm

... of course, all of this is upside-down, if you're in the southern hemisphere!

In the northern hemisphere, except in the tropics (23*or less of latitude), the sun is always somewhat to the south. So there would always be shade to the north.
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Post  killjug 4/9/2010, 3:33 pm

The reason we have seasons is because of the tilt of the earths axis. If you watch the sunrise or sunset you can see that the sun moves 2-5 degrees north until we get to the summer sultice and then 2-5 degrees south till the winter sultice. This means for the northern hemisphere the sun will track through the sky south of straight up and down unitil the summer sultice where it will be straight up at noon and then start moving south again. If you were in the southern hemisphere you would want your trellises on the south so they would not shade the other squares. Just a little science lesson because that is my profession.
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Post  pattipan 4/9/2010, 5:06 pm

Hehe, this is forum is so much fun! Thanks for the clarification guys! It's been awhile since I thought about this stuff, but this is why I asked the question!

So...I got out my compass (blew the dust off first) and discovered that my SFG is really not directly E-W like I thought. See the image below...(the yellow circles indicate "about" where the sun is rising and setting). So, being that my SFG is not exactly E-W, it really IS in a good position as far a sunshine goes! As my husband said just now with a big grin..."It's right 'nuff for gov'ment work."

Conclusion: I am going to have tomato trellises on BOTH sides of my garden. I'll keep tabs and let you know how it goes!

Tomatoes...North or South side? Sfg_su10


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Post  Wyldflower 4/9/2010, 5:26 pm

Awesome.... Looks like you'll have terrific sun throughout the garden...
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Post  lisaphoto 4/9/2010, 7:02 pm

I'm putting tomatoes on the south side to intentionally shade some of the cooler weather plants.
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Post  aspiegardner 4/29/2010, 8:20 am

my front door faces north.

the sfg boxes are in the back yard, this back yard gets NO shade til late evening. The front yard gets very little sun.

I did a long box last year for vine plants and just put a trellis down the center. Its a 2' x 8' box.

This year I want to do all types of tomatos in the 4' x 4' and haven't yet figured out a good trellis.
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