There is nowhere in my south facing back garden that gets full sun. There are parts that would if it wasn’t for my neighbours huge eucalypts casting their shadow across my garden from about 3:00pm every day. Well its about 3:00 at the moment, in winter its a lot earlier. I would love to have full sun. Veggies, in general, love full sun, but I don’t have it and yet things still grow. I do think that some plants cope a lot better with partial shade than others. These are some that do well in my garden.
- Lebanese Cucumbers:
I find I get good reliable crops of cucumbers with about 5-6 hours of sun per day. I do have some planted in a bed that gets less than that which aren’t doing as well but those with 5 hours plus are rocking along just fine.
I always seem to be including chillies in my lists, partially because I find them indispensable in the kitchen and partially because they are so satisfying to grow. Oh and red is my favourite colour …. Anyway mine get about 4-5 hours sun a day and produce well. I think the things about chillies is you don’t really need them to crop really, really heavily to be happy with them. I have no doubt mine would produce more in a sunnier spot but even with the amount of sun they get they do well and the heat doesn’t seem to suffer too much, if at all.
You’ve gotta love chard (well provided your enjoy eating it that is). It seems to grow happily almost anywhere. I have a plant that looks pretty content with only about 3 hours sun a day. I do find that the green stalked varieties (they often go by the name Perpetual Spinach) are the most obliging. I have had problems with mildew on the coloured stemmed ones if they don’t get enough sun but the green stemmed ones seem to resist it.
I have a bed which gets no sun at all in winter. In that bed I’ve had volunteer potatoes produce crops (albeit small ones) in winter. I’m not really recommending growing potatoes in total shade but they seem to do fine in partial shade. The pots that I usually grow them in get about 5 hours sun a day and they produce pretty good crops from this.
Whilst some herbs definitely prefer full sun almost all my herbs are grown in areas which receive less than 6 hours sun a day. The ones that seem to tolerate the least sun: ie 3-4 hours per day (or less in some cases) are Vietnamese mint, common mint, parsley and chervil. My chervil plants would only get a couple of hours afternoon sun a day. I have had parsley produce reasonable (albeit reduced) crops with only an hour or two sun a day (I think it would appreciate at least 3 hours though) and either type of mint is generally happy with just a couple of hours a day.
Incidently if you want a plant that is fine without any sun at all and you are in a warmish climate then I would given ginger a try it has produced for me in pretty much total shade and I am at the very edge of climates it would grow well in.
And that ends this weeks Top 5. I would love further suggestions on shade loving plants, particularly those that will tolerate less than 4 hours sun per day as that is something I have in abundance.
P.S. – Want another veggie related Top 5? Check out The New Good Life’s Top 5 performers of the summer season to date.