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Toowoomba's climate-appropriate veges

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    Hi to anyone in the area :wave:

    We’ve just moved back to Toowoomba after a few years in the north. While living here previously we didn’t really grow any edible produce, but we got in to it up north. Due to prioritising restumping our house, we don’t have mega-bucks to throw at the redesigning of our garden which will be necessary to achieve a lot. But we do have a couple of garden beds that we can make use of in the meantime.

    So I’m wondering if you can suggest what may grow well in a shady south facing spot, next to the south wall of the house. We also have an area with palms and ferns that is on the east but in a narrow strip between a large fence and the house, thus remaining shaded generally and more moist than elsewhere.

    I haven’t done any soil testing, but would expect basaltic ferrosol here, yet the texture of what I’ve dug up is far more loam like than clay. I really only messed with black vertisol when living here before however, so I’m not sure if this texture is what you’d expect from ferrosols anyway. After weeks without rain it still dug easily and there were no characteristic clay aggregates.

    Any suggestions? Will I get away with some winter-ish veges due to lack of sun?


    Lots of semi-shade herbs could do well, like from the mint family. I find a lot of herbs grow well in semi-shaded positions. Native violet should grow like a weed in your shaded area too – but that’s not edible.

    I can’t help much on the veg side though, as I have over-exposed beds and have to deal with sun-drenched varieties.

    I’ve never tried it personally, but your shaded fern area, sounds like it could be perfect for growing vanilla beans. Just depends how cold it gets in that particular area in winter.

    Judi BJudi B

    😆 “triffids” will grow anywhere.


    Perhaps the soil could be fill? There’s a section of fill at the front of our yard that is red like the natural dairy farm soils in our area, but it’s a much more friable structure and has very few worms when everywhere else in the yard is chock full of worms…

    Some things that might work in the summer shade : lettuce and other greens, strawberries, rhubarb, sweet potato – we’ve grown them on the south side of the house as an experiment and they were fine but I’d probably plant several starter plants as the crop will be faster than a single plant. And like Chris said – herbs. You could try some veg in pots too so you can move them around to get the best chance of sun as it shifts through the season – cherry tomatoes can still take quite a lot of shade and still produce.


    Thanks all 🙂

    Don’t think it’s fill dustyfrl70, based on being in the high corner of Toowoomba with significant drop across the block and no retaining anywhere. It is probably well-drained given all of that, which may have helped the texture. I’m not fab on ferrosols – have only lived with the vertisols in the Darling Downs, so don’t really know what to expect of it.


    I have bloody azaleas growing in that garden bed currently! I had my suspicions, but needed to check since they aren’t looking so fabulous. This garden has clearly been left to run wild for a year though so they wouldn’t have got a pruning when they need it. Still, it seems the soil may be quite acidic 😐

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