erin m
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:28 pm
Location: NY

Vegetables in partial shade

Hi all,

I have lots of tall trees in my back yard which provide quite a bit of shade, but I'd still like to grow some vegetables. What would you suggest I plant?

I had read (or thought I did, anyway) that things like lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower can grow in partial shade. When I went to pick them up the little tags said full sun.

What are your thoughts?

Erin - Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

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Location: Minnesota

how many hours of sunlight does the intended area receive Erin?

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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:23 pm
Location: alabama

Erin, I have the same situation in the backyard portion of my veggie garden. This is my first year here, so I am wondering what my yields will be, although the lady who lived here before always had decent gardens. So far I am growing onions (which have performed beautifully, planted in mid February), broccoli (which is growing very well but not heading yet), and have only just planted my beans and squash back there....also a couple eggplants and some peppers, and those seem to be doing well also. I estimate that this garden section gets approximately 6 hours total of direct sun per day, about 3 hours morning and 3 hours evening, and the rest of the time is in dappled shade from my trees. As for lettuce, go for it. I have grown it in partial shade many times and it does fine.

Good luck. Keep us posted!


Super Green Thumb
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Location: Mid Ohio

Unless you are in a hot dry climate all garden vegetables grow best in all day full sun (hence the info on the tags), but many hours of full sun is only needed for those plants that flower and grow some sort of edible fruit (tomatoes, squash, peas etc) because the sun induces flowering. Anything that you eat the roots, stems, or leaves should do much better than other types in partial shade. Broccoli and cauliflower are flower buds so I suspect that they need alot of sun to do well.

As far as tomatoes go, cherry tomatoes do better than large tomatoes when full sun is limited.

Green Thumb
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I agree with what's been posted. Also, when sunlight is less than the plant requires, it will still live and grow fruit, but it will take longer than the seed packets say. So my real life example was projected 90 days for habaneros, the plant that got only morning and evening sun had ripe peppers after 120 days.

erin m
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Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:28 pm
Location: NY

@pharmerphil -- I am really not sure but I would guess somewhere between 4 and 6 hours.

@elevenplants -- You give me hope :) Glad you've been having good luck so far! I have bought lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and a strawberry plant (for a different spot next to the house that gets more sun). I bought them Saturday but not planted yet. I have fencing that I still need to staple to the stakes. The lettuce is looking a little limp already so I may need to buy a new plant.

@TZ -OH6 -- Thanks for the tip on the cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes actually did alright last year (although a bit tall and spindly) but the the deer and/or other animals got them before I did.

@petalfuzz -- Thanks for the info. Since I am new to this house and gardening I think I will just try some different things and see what happens! - Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

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