For gardeners with small yards and large trees, vegetable growing is something of a struggle. If the tree in question is in the Eucalyptus family, the challenge is much greater, because the leaves are evergreen, providing year-found shade, and they shed copious amounts of leaves and bark peelings which are toxic to some plants. To get around these challenges, develop sturdy edible perennial vegetables under the canopy, and utilize containers or raised beds in the sunniest spaces near the tree.
Remove or prune some of the eucalyptus’ divisions, if possible. Opening up the tree even marginally can bring a surprising amount of light to plants growing under or just past the tree.
Plant shade-tolerant, perennial vegetables under the outer canopy of this eucalyptus. Bamboo, New Zealand spinach and daylilies, all that have edible plant parts, tolerate the tree’s leaf litter and dry, partial shade.
Establish raised beds or containers to get annual vegetables as far outside the tree’s canopy as you can. These growing systems avoid competition between vegetable roots and tree roots. Additionally, by removing the need to dig into the dirt, you wo not need to worry that alleopathins from decayed leaf litter will damage your vegetable crops.
Fill containers and raised beds using top soil or potting compost and soil.
Plant seeds or seedlings of leafy vegetables that can tolerate partial shade. Good choices include beets, onions, cooking greens — kale, mustard greens, spinach, collards, cabbage and chard — along with leafy greens.
Mulch that the annual vegetables to conserve water, suppress weeds and form a barrier between the soil and the eucalyptus leaf litter.
Water annual vegetables often. Even in the shade, raised beds and containers dry out more rapidly than traditional garden beds. Examine the dirt at least once every day.
Handpick bark and leaf litter from chlorine beds, or use a leaf blower. This not only cuts down on the risk of eucalyptus allelopathins from harming the vegetables, but prevents the litter from crushing or smothering smaller vegetables.