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Gardening in the shade

Shaded gardens

For all the gardening questions and conversations we have had over all the years,  one comment often stands out.  “I can’t garden even if I’d like to because my home and garden and area is in the shade.”

To that comment we reply, “Nonsense!”

Having a shady garden spot doesn’t mean that you are destined to live your life devoid of fresh garden vegetables.

For shade gardening, one just must be more creative.  It’s all about practicing the art of yin and yang.

Because gardening in shady areas as well as anywhere else is a study of balance, one must always be willing to move plants from one area to another until the harmony is achieved.  It’s called magic, and sometimes it takes moving plants more than once to find that perfect spot to achieve that magic,  Wow, and when it works, it is so very special.

Always read the tags on the plants advising you where to plant and how to do it, but also always be ready to switch things around.  Remember that gardening is always a work in progress.

A garden site that receives as few as two hours of direct sunlight daily can grow vegetables.  A garden with dappled sunlight can also grow vegetables.  It is vitally important to know and understand what type  you have.  Shade can be described as full or deep shade, light shade, or dappled or partial shade.  Really deep shade receives no direct sunlight and  almost no reflective sunlight.  Reflective sunlight is light that is radiated off a light or white wall, the side of a light-colored building or white fence.  Lightly shaded means that the area receives an hour or two of sun each day and is light, airy, or well-illuminated by indirect or reflected light a good portion of the day.

Partial shade is an area that receives sun for two to six hours per day and is lightly shaded or receives dappled shade for the remainder of the day.

Most shade-loving vegetables do best in partial shade, where they get two to six hours of sunlight per day.

Tips for growing vegetables in shady garden areas are as follows:

Choose vegetables and  herbs that are adapted to and do well in shady areas.