growing vegetable under sumac tree in urban environment

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by france powell, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. france powell

    france powell New Member

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    My Kitsilano strata has allotted me a 4' x 4' garden plot located under a large staghorn sumac tree. The plot is adjacent to a lane and faces south. It is surrounded by low rise buildings. It presently has a morning + early pm sun exposure; but the sumac leaf canopy will soon shade the plot once leaves have grown. The previous owner shared she has had little success growing vegetables, except for rhubarb and peas.

    I am wondering about the following:

    1. is it safe to grow vegetables in this plot when cars park every day on the other side of its fence? I am rather concerned about toxicity from exhaust fumes and water run off from the lane's surface into the plot.

    2. which vegetables will grow best in this environment in spring/summer; in fall/winter?

    I would be very grateful for your advice. Thank you in advance.

    France Powell
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Moved this to the Fruit and Vegetable Gardening area, a bit more likely to get a response.

    Shade is going to be tough for vegetables in the summer, other than what the previous person suggested. For the winter, though, you could look at any of the typical winter veggies like kale.

    Hard to say about run-off and other surface pollutants without a photo and some idea of water movement in the area.

    I would have to dig deeper into the literature to find something definitive about vehicle exhaust and plants. You can see this: as an example, but I'm guessing it is going to be a variable response by species and edible organ in both growth/development and pollutant loading.
  3. Assie

    Assie New Member

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    I'm not very good at gardening, I just started creating a garden in my backyard, but it seems to me that there are so many solutions now for creating good conditions for plants in the garden.

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