I've spend the first full week in my new home in Oak Park, IL. I've now confirmed that most of my yard is part to full shade. This is going to put a serious crimp in my vegetable gardening efforts. I do have a couple of hell-strips out front that are mostly sun, but the good people of Oak Park are not as in to front yard vegetable gardens as the people in Portland.
I may still plant those strips, but I will wait for next year. I have so many other areas that need to be filled and spruced up first. I am excited to start exploring the wide variety of annuals and perennials that grow in shade. But, I also want to find out what vegetables will grow in part shade.
As a way to get started, I am creating a list. I am super excited that the very first item is my vegetable soul mate, the beet (and if you want to see the most amazing cuff bracelet made from beets*, visit Artifacts of Life*)
- kale (another love of mine)
- spinach (not my fave, but I will give it a try)
- some berries (yes, I know they aren't vegetables, but I LOVE strawberries)
- rhubarb (again, a soul mate)
- lots of herbs (I know these aren't veggies...)
There are also several techniques that can be used to "cheat" shade....such as using reflective materials to direct sun into the shaded areas and planting biennial or perennial crops that will soak up the sun before the trees leaf out. I've also considered creating a couple of containers with vegetables, (the one to the left is from Gardener's Supply) placing them on rolling platforms and moving them with the sun.
In addition to shade, I have another challenge...I am a lazy gardener. If a plant isn't successful without me doing a lot to/for it, it won't make it in my yard. I mean, I have a life (theoretically), and I am not going to pamper and baby every plant in the border...it's called sustainability, people. Which reminds me, my lazy gardening tip from the P Allen Smith Garden2Blog event is now live! Go check it out...the camera angle is awful...I look like a fat 50-Foot Woman, but it's a great tip.
Anyway, the point is that the veggies I plant in my new yard are going to have to be survivors. Stay tuned for updates...and feel free to make suggestions!
**Now you can purchase Growing, Preparing and Preserving Peas as an ebook for only $2.99. Head over to Amazon and download it to your ereader or tablet device pronto.
More about the book:
There are three types of peas, garden, snap and snow peas, all of which are easy to grow! Learn how with guidance from one of America's hottest new gardening authors. Growing, Preparing and Storing Peas is full of great garden knowledge, as well as recipes to tantalize your taste buds. Plus, it's written in a portable format, so download it on your smart phone, tablet or ereader and take it out to the garden (or to the grocery store) with you!
* This post contains an affiliate link to the Artifacts of Life store...and I whole-heartedly believe in and love their products.