This is how shady the east side of my backyard was before we took down trees even with no leaves on the trees. In the summer, the canopy from this oak tree along with the pine tree to the immediate left kept this part of the yard in shade until early afternoon.
Now that the trees are gone we are already noticing a big difference in light in this area.
I know my neighbors are hating me. They probably call me the crazy tree lady, and even one of the tree guys asked, "You don't like trees, do you?" I love trees, just not ones that keep me from gardening. Believe me, there are plenty more around my house. There is no danger of running out of trees in my neighborhood.
Now, I have a 14'x60' section to plan. I would love to line the fence with espalier fruit trees, but my worry is when I put raised beds down the section, what I grow in the raised beds may grow too tall and block sun off the trees in the afternoon. Because of the fence, the trees would not get morning sun immediately, so I would need to depend on the afternoon sun to provide enough sunlight. Or I can still plant fruit trees along the fence but limit their height by multiple prunings each year. This method takes more space horizontally, so I eat up some of my 14' when planning out my raised beds. I definitely need raised beds because I am dealing with solid clay for the most part. It is rock hard. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to tackle this area. I have a blank slate, and I want to plan it right.
Shockingly, Nate has also offered to rework our sprinkler system in this area. This whole area is one zone on our system, so I can configure it in any way I want and only use it when I think most necessary. I generally water my raised beds from the rain barrels, but on occasion, I would like to have the sprinkler system as a backup. I know I would like to have a connection to each raised bed and to each tree. I need to research drip irrigation and sprinkler systems. Any ideas from you on this?
This is definitely a long term project, but the biggest hurdle was the trees in my opinion.