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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:25 pm
Location: Fremont, CA

Need advice on a shade spot in veg. garden


First time gardener here.....I have a few raised beds in a corner of my yard. We had to put them here despite potential shade problems. One of the beds (happens to be the longest) seems like it should get good sunlight for atleast 6 hrs but I have been having problems with some pepper plants and basil that I put in there. I planted peppers and basil in this 'questionable' bed as well as another bed back in early April (from nursery bought starters). The peppers have grown only about 4-6 inches in this bed as compared to the other spot. The only theory I can come up with is that since we are in the San Francisco Bay area we get some morning fog (some days till 11am) so maybe they are not getting enough sun shine.
Whew...now to the actual questions

1) Is it safe you think to move the pepper plants to another spot? The tallest one is probably about 6inches high.

2) What would you recommend to grow in this bed which is unreliably sunny? Once the fog burns off, it gets great sunshine till about 4pm after which it is shaded by some hedges and dappled sunlight.

Thanks in advance.


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7453
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

First, yes move the peppers to a sunnier spot. If you can dig a hole to put them first, then with a shovel get a good bit of soil with the plant and put in the pre-dug hole, it won't upset them much.

You might try some strawberries in the shady bed.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I've had luck with arugula and loose leaf salad greens in pretty heavy shade that only gets some morning sun, mostly indirect. Of course these greens will take full sun as well. They may grow a little slower in the shade area, but should give a good stream of fresh salad ingredients. The temperatures in the bay area should give a long season on salad greens.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I would also go for the cool-season plants in such a shaded spot. My little bit of Sunset Zone 17 is on the cool side, and the heat-requiring foods (eggplant, peppers, most tomatoes, melons) just don't produce in my yard. Probably b/c the Coastal Redwood blocks them from sun beginning around 1:30 or 2:00 in the afternoon...and then the fog comes in around 4:00... *sigh*

Broccoli, spinach, mache, potatoes, rapini (also called broccoli raab, but it's more closely related to turnips than to broccoli), all the salad greens, komatsuna, green onions, kale, chard, *maybe* shelling peas, perhaps root veggies, strawberries, and some varieties of green beans will produce for you with 6 hours of sunlight and decently warm soil in Zone 17. This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list; it's just the stuff I've had success with in a cool-ish portion of Zone 17.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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