Gardening in Apartments forum: What would you do with this small area under a deck?

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 24, 2014 4:13 AM CST
Thumb of 2014-03-24/SongofJoy/e454e1

I garden for the pollinators.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Mar 24, 2014 4:52 AM CST
Gee, that is a good question I have something similar and I have been wondering how to exploit it.
Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
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GordonHawk
Mar 28, 2014 6:19 AM CST
Well...with out the lattice barrier.. i bet the first foot or two feet .. underneath... around the edges would get enough light for a low planting.. or seed starter area.. and under beyond that could see plants with a bit of added light.. from plant lights.. but remember why the lattice was there in the first place.. ventilation.. and to keep the critters out..
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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SongofJoy
Mar 28, 2014 6:24 AM CST
Thanks, Gordon, I have considered removing the lattice. The deck boards will have to be replaced soon so I was holding off until then and trying to decide what to do. That is the west side of the house and the summer sun can be brutal in that area. The photo was taken facing north.

There was a tree planted beside that area that was apparently cut down some time ago. But the roots are still there.
I garden for the pollinators.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Mar 28, 2014 8:27 AM CST
Gordon. I had not thought of plant lights. The lattice is necessary yes. Bracken can grow there. The stems get very long so the leaves can reach the light. Even shade-loving plants try to reach it to. Lights could be a good tool to stop this behaviour.
[Last edited by Gleni - Mar 28, 2014 8:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
Tropicals Plumerias Roses Ponds Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader
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GordonHawk
Mar 28, 2014 10:05 AM CST
yes Glen... the lights if you left them on a bit into the evening would really show off the house... having the lattice glowing beneath the house.. might look quite special...
welcome to the world of bling
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Mar 29, 2014 2:48 PM CST
Honestly, I have a similar situation under my deck and I've been thinking of using it as a semi-protected space for a feral cat colony! Not everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure. But I'm interested in "trap, neuter, release" aka TNR to help cut down on the feral population. I'd put little shelters under there and it would be my food and water spot as well. And if I set the trap in the right corner, I can monitor it from my window.

I'll need the neighbors' "permission" - or at least a lack of freaking out on their part and I haven't worked up the courage yet to ask....
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarde...
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jan 2, 2018 8:44 PM CST
Good for you critter garden! You have a ferral cat colony, you are not importing one. Your neighbors should be thrilled- - someone must do something.

I would approach it proactively- put a letter in people's mailboxes- the cats will suffer and die over a short life span, but not before 4,5, or even 6 litters, all of whom will potty in soft soil of veggie gardens and flower beds, killing birds at bird feeders, carrying communicable disease (you could raise the rabies flag is you have a neighbor who's a real jerk, even though its not likely) etc. Send out a request for ideas and help; for trapping, with vet bills for neuter/spay, etc.
That way if you hear nothing they will be/should be ashamed of having a problem in their neighborhood they did nothing about and you're the proactive neighbor, not the crazy cat lady.

I don't want to see you blamed for a cat problem that fell in your lap. Turn it around and put it on them, you might not get much help, but at least you won't be blamed when you do the right thing- feeding, sterilizing, and anything else that can add compassion to their lives.

Putting out a food station can be seen as irresponsible by the uninformed, as if you put out food in the hopes of attracting a colony- but notifying your neighbors there is a feral cat problem AND putting out a food station AND work with a local TNR - that's very responsible as a neighbor and property owner and compassionate human.

Back on topic- the space under decks is not for plants. 3 hours a day of burning late day sun doesn't make any plant happy. Maybe take down the trellis, replace it with hanging plants and make yourself a nice seating area?
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Jan 2, 2018 8:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Jan 3, 2018 12:56 AM CST
@songofjoy I can't see your entire layout or how tall the space is under there, but here's an idea for the heck of it...

There are these truck bed pull-out drawer type systems, where you have a flat platform that pulls out, or drawers that pull out or a combination of both. So, you can be at the back of your truck bed (usually with a canopy over it), and you grab a bin and slide it toward you. Then, you can reach everything in the bin. The bin stays attached to the truck bed. Maybe you could retrofit something based on this idea.

Like I said, I don't know if that would work over your roots, or if you would have enough space for the pulled-out bins, or if it would cost too much, etc., but it might be a nifty way to use that space under there for storage and be able to access it without having to crawl around (if you can't stand up down there).

Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

http://www.cabelas.com/product...

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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SongofJoy
Jan 3, 2018 12:28 PM CST
I replaced the entire deck and covered it. Pea gravel is underneath.
Thumb of 2018-01-03/SongofJoy/ddcf66


Thumb of 2018-01-03/SongofJoy/67342b

I garden for the pollinators.
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Jan 5, 2018 6:02 AM CST
It looks great Carole, you did a wonderful job Smiling I always love seeing before and after pic's Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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SongofJoy
Mar 16, 2018 12:19 PM CST
Thanks, Christine. Thumbs up
I garden for the pollinators.

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