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Thursday, April 05, 2012

A reader's question, needing readers answers

One bolt short of a tool box asks;


Love the blog, you def have a new follower.

I was wondering if you knew what kind of plants are good for heavily shaded gardens? we have a tiny tiny city garden, but it is surrounded by big oak trees which i suspect are sucking the life out of everything, couple that with it not getting an ounce of sun and me being a complete novice, i've no idea what to plant in there, everything from last year died.

thanks for your help!!

My short answer was;


Only thing I can think off right off the bat is going to be your cool weather veggies, carrots, cabbage, broccoli ect. It depends on how hot your summers gets. Most these do well with filtered sunlight.


Most of you know, I am dealing with wide open plains, I only have maybe two trees on the entire homestead that are taller than Husband, so my experience with shaded growing is severely limited. I did have a friend who was able to grow sun lovers in her shade last year, while those of us without it, suffered. But it was the only year she was able to get sun lovers to really grow in the spot. 100f in the shade will do that I guess.

But as I have a vastly diverse readership, I thought that a couple of you might have conquered this special problem and be able to help out.


LauraH said...

Mushrooms. My boyfriend and I are setting up a mushroom area in our garden this year, right next to the house where we don't get any sun at any point during the year.

I wish I had some partial shade areas in my garden. Besides the area blocked by the house, it is all sun all the time.

P.S. I'm in Spokane, WA. It's very hot and dry during the summer.

Phelan said...

Mushrooms totally slipped my mind. Thank you.

Mandi from Delaware said...

Radishes, lettuce, spinach
@worthless- I've been toying with the idea of mushroom area. You'll have to let us know how that goes.

Phelan said...

Mandi, all things salad indeed would work! Mustard greens, possibly beets, potatoes, but not sweet, trying to get the brain working . . . Thank you for the help.

Phelan said...

Oops, I guess not all thing sals, tomatoes don't like shade unless you have extremely high temps, even then they need a bit of morning shade.

Judy said...

They might also try container gardening due to poor soil nutrition. I started to add raised beds, however, the roots from the oak trees would invade and suck the life out of the raised beds.

Phelan said...

Good answer Judy! I don't have any oak trees to deal with here, so my knowledge is limited.

Bummer about the raised beds.

Sometimes you guys make me feel better about having few trees, but this Kansas wind reminds me why I need them.

commoncents said...

Thanks for posting!!
Common Cents

One bolt short of a toolbox said...

Hey everyone, thanks so nuch for all the replies. Same thing happened to me the summer before last judy. These trees are a nightmare, the garden has about 200sqft of growing space and three, that right, three hundred year old oak trees around them!

Might give the mushrooms a try this year!

Phelan said...

I'm glad they were all able to help.

marta elizabeth said...

this is a little late for the post, but i thought i'd leave my 2 cents. i was going to say mushrooms- that would be a fun experiment. also, i am an herb fanatic and they tend to be pretty hardy. some that might tolerate your growing conditions are
if they don't get sun they probably won't bloom much at all, but they are still great for culinary and medicinal (and decorative!) purposes. best of luck!


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