Vegie growing in the shade?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Chris Willis, May 6, 2012.

  1. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    I was looking at an article just recently where a gardener found growing capsicum in the shade was quite successful. I have a narrow strip on one side of our house....a pathway and a 2 foot garden bed against the fence-line. It's on the East wall of our house so only gets a little bit of sunshine in the morning. I was wondering if anyone out there has had any success with growing vegies in the shade?
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Depends on your climate Chris.
     
  3. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    We live in Perth Western Australia....very long hot months....fairly good rainfall at times in winter. Temp range between low 30's up to 'sometimes', low 40's in summer.....low to high teens in winter....quite a lot of very pleasant mid 20's in spring and autumn. That's approximate of course.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
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    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    In which case I would say yes. I live in a hot summer, cold winter climate (mid 20s is average summer temp) and I've grown things like lettuce, silver beet, miners lettuce etc in full shade* at the back of the house. Parsley grows there all year round. I haven't tried things like tomatoes or peppers, it's probably not hot enough here, but would be worth a go where you live IMO. Do tomatoes need direct sun to ripen?

    *that's shade with lots of light. It'd be different under trees.
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  6. Tildesam

    Tildesam Junior Member

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    I concur with the guys, it's not easy battling with shade and edibles. I'm pretty sure sun is crucial for fruit-forming and ripening.

    I live in Sydney where we have quite a cool-temperate climate. I have a balcony garden high up with about 2-3hours of sunlight a day, and I think the only edibles I've had thrive are mint and some types of lettuce.
    Sad situation for me, but what can you do?
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Learn to love lettuce and mint I guess!
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Did you read those threads sammy? People are growing things in the shade.

    Maybe things aren't growing on your balcony for other reasons. Is it windy?

    Is Sydney a cool temperate climate? I thought it was more hot/semi tropical.
     
  9. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    We did have a tomato growing in a shady spot recently....somehow, it had self sown and it did fruit. Not a lot, but it's still on the go. That is my reason for asking the question about growing vegies in the shade....since so many of you have replied in the affirmative, I see I shall have to get the garden bed ready to accommodate some seedlings. Pebble, I'm interested about your location, as you mentioned that your summer climate is 'hot' in the 20's? That's pretty cold compared to the summer climate here in Perth. It's a major problem for us as things get burned pretty quickly. We gave up trying to grow for a while in the summer. That's a another reason for the question about shade planting.
     
  10. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I'm in the South Island of NZ. Yes, it's not very hot compared to Australia. That's why I wouldn't try tomatoes in the shade here, but I wonder if your hotter climate would be ok for that.

    I noticed that when I lived on the coast, which was cooler than where I am now, I was still in a dry climate and that growing some things with semi shade worked better. Most people where I live now who are growing lots of veges do so in full sun, but I think that's because it extends the growing season (we have cold winters). It's alot of work growing in full sun ;-) I'd suggest looking at what plants grow wild in the shade where you live, learn from them, and experiment.

    I've got some vague recollection of seeing examples of shade being used in Africa for growing vegetables (on the internet, probably permaculture, possibly in Bill Mollison's TV series, the one on dry climates??)

    Is Perth a dry heat or do you have moisture?
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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  12. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Most plants do better with a little shade in my locale, dappled shade from taller trees, especially the native elms, seems most beneficial. Latitude 30 N, Edwards Plateau, Texas. Today's temperature 91 F.
     
  13. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    https://www.motherearthnews.com/shade-tolerant-vegetables-zm0z11zsto.aspx

    https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/vegetables-to-grow-in-shade-zm0z11zsto.aspx

    Just something I found.
     
  14. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    Ooooh, lucky you...NZ is such a beautiful country. We were there last year when the horrors of Christchurch happened. We were supposed to be in Christchurch two days after the quake hit. Sadly, we never did get to see it...such a shame as I've heard that it was a beautiful city. A dreadful time for NZ....so sorry.
    Tomato's grow beautifully here....but when the temperatures soar into the 30's & 40's they just shrivel up and burn. So I shall 'have a go' this year and put some in the shade, just to try it out. We have recently bought a shade house just for the tomato's, but it has a flap that can let in the sun for so many hours and then when it gets hot it can be closed to give more shade. Mostly, our heat is dry...I've noticed that we get humidity if a cyclone comes in to the northern parts of our huge state. I've often wondered about Bill Mollison's garden....everything seems to be in some kind of shade with the huge canopy trees he has growing. I guess I just wanted to hear what people 'out there' are growing, so I can try it too :)
     
  15. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    Thanks so much Pakanohida....most useful. I appreciate your posting this info :)
     
  16. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
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    NZ is a beautiful country, if you don't look too closely ;-) (we're spoiling it as fast as we can). Glad you weren't in Chch when the quakes hits, I have friends there and it's been very full on.


    Check out this episode of the Global Gardener. There is an interesting bit in the middle about greens being grown in the shade (different kind of shade but still interesting).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE5KGJlqUSI

    Let us know how your experiment goes!
     
  17. Tildesam

    Tildesam Junior Member

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    Hey Pebble,

    I think the shade of a garden area is a little different to the shaded area of a balcony for a lot of reasons.
    It is windy here, and can get quite violently so occasionally, (I'm up on the 5th floor) I'm sure that is a factor to my troubles.

    There is also very little sunlight year 'round, at this time of year I probably get 2 hours max, and that is to the plants I'm hanging off the balcony, not on the floor of it.
    We haven't had much heat this summer either, and I'm sure that's impacted things too.

    I believe my part of sydney (north shore, near the CBD) is more temperate, you'll probably get hotter as you travel west out of the metropolitan area.
     
  18. Chris Willis

    Chris Willis Junior Member

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    Thanks for the link, Pebble. I have watched it before...watch anything on YouTube with Bill Mollison....what a great man he is. It's freaky what's happening in Australia....shocking revelations about the water in central Victoria in this video. I found it very interesting about the African termite mounds being full of life, and the African landscape from the air....when compared with the Australian landscape. Horrific really. I'm very concerned for my grandchildren and beyond....hopefully I can get them interested in growing food and caring for the land they live on. Thanks again :)
     

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