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My First Garden in a mostly shaded area...

eviemichael Jun 22, 2010 01:00 AM

I finally got designated an area for gardening in my family's apartment building area.

I live in a coastal suburb of Athens, Greece- so as you probably know, the climate is very hot in the summer and we have mild winters.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the area is very shady. I'm not sure if this matters since the climate is mild and it gets indirect light...

There is construction going on in the house so we will probably start planting in September and its still warm but not as scorching hot as August.

Any suggestions? My aunt thinks I should put an apricot tree.

Thanks in advance!! Im very excited about my first garden. :)

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  1. r
    rockfish42 RE: eviemichael Jun 22, 2010 01:24 AM

    Lettuces do really well in partial shade, they take longer to grow but are less likely to bolt. Speaking from experience fruit trees are problematic in shady areas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockfish42
      eviemichael RE: rockfish42 Jun 22, 2010 01:32 AM

      Thanks! Yes I was thinking lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, beets?

      Should I just give up on growing any fruit? What about herbs?

    2. eviemichael RE: eviemichael Jun 22, 2010 01:42 AM

      I was just looking online and it looks like mint, sage, dill, oregano, and some types of thyme can thrive in shade.

      What about nut trees?

      Should I try berries?

      3 Replies
      1. re: eviemichael
        rockfish42 RE: eviemichael Jun 22, 2010 03:13 AM

        Berries might work, the herbs you listed should be fine. Rhubarb and beets are supposedly shade tolerant.

        1. re: eviemichael
          Junie D RE: eviemichael Jun 28, 2010 07:25 AM

          I have a nectarine and a peach tree and an apple tree in partial shade (maybe 4 or 5 hours sun/day in summer) that do pretty well.

          1. re: eviemichael
            susancinsf RE: eviemichael Jul 26, 2010 12:15 PM

            My sage is thriving in the shade (in a climate with hot summers) and if I can grow something successfully, anyone can...the greek oregano next to it is doing pretty well also.

          2. s
            saraheartsny RE: eviemichael Jun 22, 2010 11:28 PM

            My parsley does very well in partial shade. Lemon balm and anise hyssop can also take a lot of shade. Pansies or violas do well in shade and make a great addition to many dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: saraheartsny
              eviemichael RE: saraheartsny Jun 23, 2010 09:41 AM


            2. boyzoma RE: eviemichael Jun 25, 2010 02:07 PM

              I have a lot of shade in my "container" garden on my deck. But I can grow tomato's, red and green peppers, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil and chives really well. Hope that helps.

              5 Replies
              1. re: boyzoma
                eviemichael RE: boyzoma Jun 26, 2010 12:58 AM

                I thought tomatoes and peppers needed lots of sun?

                1. re: eviemichael
                  Jemon RE: eviemichael Jun 27, 2010 01:51 PM

                  They do! While they will grow something, they won't be all they can be without maximum sun.

                2. re: boyzoma
                  Apple RE: boyzoma Jun 27, 2010 11:40 AM

                  really? What zone are you in? what are you doing differently?

                  I have 5 large containers each with either tomatillos or tomatoes... right now I am carting those bad boys to the full sun part of my property - my front lawn unfortunately... the containers are getting so heavy and I would like to relocate them to the backyard where we have maybe 2-3 hours of sun tops but I can't bear to see them whither away after all that work.

                  1. re: Apple
                    Jemon RE: Apple Jun 27, 2010 01:50 PM

                    Don't do it! The tomatoes and tomatillos will suffer if they don't get all the sun they can get. What do you mean you are carting them? Do you move them daily or something?

                    1. re: Jemon
                      Apple RE: Jemon Jun 28, 2010 08:16 AM

                      yes, i have to move them daily as i don't want to leave them on our front lawn. we live in the city and while they remain undisturbed during the day, i fear they will be messed with in the cover of night. It was easy when they were seedlings... but now it won't be long before they outgrow the cages.

                      I should have purchased planted cherry type tomatoes instead I have black zebras.

                      In my backgarden where I get less sun, I am growing lettuces, cress, radishes, bush beans, and swiss chard.

                3. DonShirer RE: eviemichael Jun 27, 2010 07:11 PM

                  I have a shaded garden area (about 4 hours sun a day) that I use mostly for lettuce, basil, asian vegetables, peas, cress, kale, garlic, broccoli, herbs and growing shrub seedlings. But cherry and grape tomatoes (and a few others), pole beans, and small cucumbers do suprisingly well here as well. I have moved most of my brussel sprouts, squash and bush beans to an area with at least 6 hours sun a day in summer, and my other tomatoes, cabbage and peppers to self-watering containers I put on the edge of my driveway to get more sun. (Do you have a balcony with sun? Containers might do well there.) Fruit trees generally need sun, but my son (in another state) has some apple trees in partially shaded locations that seem to do well.

                  1. Gooseberry RE: eviemichael Jul 22, 2010 02:34 AM

                    I have a similar situation, Mediterranean climate in South Africa, maybe 2 hrs of dappled sun a day in summer.

                    I planted a little bit of a lot of things my first summer, and from that I got a good idea of what would and wouldn't grow.

                    Generally things with big fruit (melons, large tomatoes) need at least 6 hrs full sun. While I have got some fruit from those in shade, it's not really worth the space for three tomatoes! Other things will tolerate shade, but will grow more slowly (consider putting in seedlings rather than seeds for a head start) and will yield less.

                    And it's also worth asking people in your area with shade gardens which VARIETIES do well with less sun. Not all green beans, for example, are created equal in terms of yield in shade, although I've had a lot of fun growing about six varieties to work out what does best in my garden!

                    I think with a shade garden it's doubly important to make sure your soil is good and rich.

                    Things I will be planting again this summer:
                    green beans
                    peas (can't grow these in full sun in summer here, actually a winter crop for me, but in the shade they do not do too badly)
                    runner beans (this surprised me, but they are pretty hardy)
                    nasturtiums (pretty AND edible and shade-friendly)

                    Chard would do well too, but I just don't eat it in the summer months
                    And while zucchini really do need sun to fruit, if you want them for their blossoms you might get enough for them to be worth the space.

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