We're going to plant a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, we don't have the best location. Our south-facing driveway is lined with hibiscus and other pretty flowers, and we don't want to mess with those. We have a line of bushes on the south side of the backyard, so we can't do much there. What's left is an area next to the house on the north side. Can a family put together a garden that works on the north side or will this be a project in frustration? 

Since everyone we asked seemed to think it wasn't worth the effort, we've decided to clear an area on the southwest corner of the lot instead of the north side. However, the list below might still be helpful to anyone considering a north side garden. 

I know there's enough sun on the north side right next to the neighbor's garage because he grows a couple of tomato plants each year. They're mostly on his property, but we can get our garden pretty close to where his plants are. A quick search online showed that he must be getting at least six hours of sunlight each day for them to grow as well as they do. I'll make this assumption for anything we plant in the same general vicinity, since we did not measure the hours out last summer. My plan is to do some measurements throughout growing season this year in order to better plan for next year, but we at least have a bit of a guide to start.

So far, I have seen a few message boards with the following vegetables mentioned as best for a north side of a house:


Snap peas

English peas




Brussels sprouts

Pole green peas


Leafy green veggies



NOT carrots or other root veggies


OK, the project ended well. However, we did not build the garden on the north side of the house. It was south-facing. I just had to clear a few bushes. I think it was well worth the effort and we grew what we wanted to grow.