Thursday, March 02, 2017

You can grow in the shade

When we were last Speaking of Raised Beds, commenter Harry Flashman noted that he was having problems with his mountaintop location where he got around 5 hours of sun per day. Yeah, that's a problem. There are solutions, and while they may not apply to Harry's (or every) situation, they give you some ammunition when you're trying to grow in a shady area.


Let's go over some of the suggestions from the video:

  • Prune back or cut down bushes and trees. While I like my landscaping and I love my big trees, the truth of it is that not all the landscaping that was here when we bought the house was worth keeping and a lot of the trees really needed to go for reasons of safety, appearance and the future ability to do things we wanted to do, like gardening.
  • Perform a solar assessment. You need to know where, when and for how long the sun hits the various parts of your yard.  Once you know that, you can really plan your garden.
  • Choose appropriate plant varieties for the amount of sun you get. If you have no space that gets full day sun, tomatoes probably aren't in your future.
There is another thing that it occurs to me as a possible suggestion. If you've ever seen pictures of a movie set or a photo shoot, you'll see people holding large sheets of reflective board to get more light on the subject. It might be possible to adapt this concept to an overly shady garden.

Don't let shade keep you from having a garden. As the Marines say, improvise, overcome, adapt.

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