Having large trees, enormous bushes and a lot of shade can prove a difficult task to have a garden. Most plants require 8-10 hours of direct sunlight to help them grow-and most of the time, that is just not possible and sometimes that is the harsh reality of edible gardening. When one thinks of gardening, people tend to think of lush meaty tomatoes, succulent greens, green crispy fresh cucumbers, robust melons and easy growing summer squash.As most gardeners will attest, lots of sunlight is necessary in order for your garden to be bountiful. However, as mentioned earlier, your garden might be surrounded by large trees, buildings or perhaps just where the garden itself is situated. Even though some of us may not be lucky to have direct sunlight (remember, too much of a thing isn’t good), no need to despair, because having a shady garden still has its benefits and there are plants that will still flourish.
A gardener should have a general idea of what type of shade the garden is exposed to. Some shade are fine for veggies and others might be better left for flowers.
So, how much shade is too much? Here are different types of shade to help you determine what you have and make the best decision .
- Partial /half Shade: I find this term to be a bit confusing, simply because it refers to an area that receives anywhere from a couple hours of sun to direct sunlight. If your area is shaded by trees and the leaves aren’t too dense, then the garden will still be able to get some sunlight. If your gardens’ shade is from a building, that is more difficult to deal with. Crops grown in this area have a good chance of growing, but the yield won’t be high.
- Dappled Shade: This is where sunlight is able to go through small tree leaves, rather than a dense leaf cover. Trimming low hanging branches will help get more sunshine on your plants.
If you are unsure about the type of shade/environment you have, don’t be discouraged. You can feel safe by starting with a small area and experiment. One of the popular shady, leafy, greens I have noticed do incredibly well in shaded areas are lettuces. All the different varieties grow relatively well in shaded areas.