New to gardening - herbs and veggies that grow well without much direct sunlight
- fldhkybnva Feb 18, 2014 09:52 AM
I was in the hardware store this morning to buy a few screws and of course took the opportunity to browse and happened upon their supply of herb and vegetable seeds which reminded me that this year I wanted to try and plant a few things. I live in the city, don't have much room, and have killed nearly any plant I've tried to grow but I think it would still be a fun adventure. I have a small concrete slab in the backyard with a few planter boxes (4'x2' and 2'x2'), but unfortunately there's not much sun and it sits in the shade for most of the day. Are there any herbs or vegetables that do well in the shade?
How much of the day are your planter boxes in shade and how completely shady is the shade? Does any direct light come through at all? Most vegetables need at least four hours of full light a day or steady dappled light all day.
If you have some places inside that get more light, it might work better to put planters in the sills or beside the windows there. You can grow lots of herbs in small planter boxes. If it's legal in your city, you can even affix window boxes right outside the window. This site has a lot of interesting products for small-space city gardening: http://www.windowbox.com/ -- You can probably get all the stuff they sell more cheaply elsewhere, but it's a nice source of ideas.
I suggest posting your question on GardenWeb, too. There are many more knowledgeable home gardeners there.
It faces north and is pretty shady :) There is an overhanging tree that I could possibly trim but I think it's in the shade most of the day. I live in a rowhouse so there's not even snow coming through between the houses. I think my neighbors have hanging window boxes, so if the landlord is OK with that, that would probably be an option as it sounds like the backyard planter boxes won't be very good. Thanks for all the information, I'll be sure to go look over at GardenWeb.
Good luck, fldhkybnva. I think it's great to try to garden in the city. I lived in NYC for a long time and ate so poorly and got so cut off from nature that it really messed up my health. I think even just trying to grow a tiny bit of your own food (or just something beautiful) is worthwhile.
fruit bearing plants do want light but lots of herbs don't want to be blasted with light. so think leafies. herbs should do just fine in indirect. however, if you're the black-thumb you describe, you may want to consider the back-up of planting ones already sprouted. I'm pretty good with plants and almost never had success with seeds. that takes a lot of coaxing and counter/table space in egg cartons for a few weeks+ with no guarantees.
My original garden area has become shaded by next door trees, so I've had to move sun-loving veggies to the front lawn (despite mild objections from DW!). Maybe you should look into ornamental veggies there too!
However the shaded area (~5 hours of sun each day) are still useful for many crops:
lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, peas, parsley, pok choy, mizuna, basil, sage, etc.
Others seem to have their productivity reduced, but still do well enough to grow there:
Beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic.
Things that definitely need sun:
Most tomatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, melons, squash.