Although some vegetables do require full sun to grow, if your space is covered by shade most of the day, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful gardener. Instead of giving up on this endeavor altogether, simply do some research about the types of crops you can grow in this environment, and ways to help them thrive. Follow these tips from Dr. Willard’s® to grow healthy and delicious vegetables in the shade.
Some Sun is Required
The first rule of thumb to remember is that there are exclusions to every rule, and while you can grow vegetables in the shade, some sun is required. While some varieties of vegetables do require at least eight hours of sunlight, you can find shade-tolerant crops that will fair well with at least three to six hours of sun, which is the minimum required for most vegetables! If your space doesn’t get at least three hours of sun, you should avoid planting there altogether.
All shade is not created equal, either! Dappled shade from high trees with loose branches can still allow sunlight to come through. However, partial shade, especially from buildings, can cover your entire yard from sunlight.
Choose the Right Variety of Vegetables
A source provides the following tip when deciding which vegetables to grow in the shade: “if you grow a plant for the fruit or the root, it needs full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, stems, or buds, a little shade will be just fine.” The following vegetables are optimal for growing in partial shade:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Lettuce and arugula
- Swiss Chard
Optimize Chances of Success
There are some tricks of the trade that you can implement to help grow your shade-tolerant crops, such as:
Using Reflective Surfaces
Reflective mulches reflect sunlight and increase photosynthesis unto plants, which, according to a source, “provide the following advantages: increased amount of light in the plant canopy, increased air temperature in the plant canopy, increased photosynthesis, reduced incidence of certain insects (particularly aphids and thrips), and increased produce yield and quality.”
Painting walls, fences and other surfaces that face the sun in a light color, especially white, can help them reflect sunlight.
Prepare Your Soil
While sunlight is imperative to help grow your vegetables, if ample sunlight isn’t available, then your soil must be optimal to help the crops thrive. Start by adding compost to the soil, which is a mixture of organic matter, like food waste, manure and fallen leaves, and bulking agents, such as wood chips. This works to add moisture and air into the soil to make it the optimal environment for growing plants.
Adding our patented and proven agricultural formula to your gardening routine can help you speed up growing times and have a more abundant harvest. PlantCatalyst® works with fertilizer to help plants absorb, retain and utilize the maximum amount of nutrients.
The amazing results of this product have been proven time and time again in professional growth houses and universities in Florida, Ontario and British Columbia, at institutions such as the University of Wisconsin and South Dakota State University, and others.