Sunday, August 14, 2011

Living in the shadow

In winter, our front yard are usually in partial shade or shade.
Ever bemoan at the fact that the place you can grow edible in winter receive barely no sunlight?
Impossible?
I did thought so too once upon a time but I turn over a new leaf about it.
To make it interesting, we are comparing the growth progress of the plants in the shade with last month which links here.
At this corner, Chinese celeries, kohlrabi, chervil and other vegetables seems has grown twice the size of last month stage. This is my first time growing kohlrabi in shade, so I am holding my breath at the moment if success is ours or not. Last year, we planted broccoli here and all did produce nice head, though smaller than the ones in full sun. Well, as long as it producing I think size does not matter. Its not growing at its optimum condition anyway.
Cauliflower plants also shows some growth at this patch. This is our third season growing cauliflowers here. I imagine the earliest cauliflower that will be harvest here perhaps next month if we have more warm weather. Hmmm...I don't think I should be that cocky now, what if we don't have a repeat performance.
This is the patch that received no sunlight at all in winter. Our perennial Chilli plant that has gone through 3 winter seasons is dying already, its time to say sayonara. Polyanthus plants does very well in shade here, one established plants has bloom and others are producing buds. Cauliflower and Nero Black kale plants are growing but slow compare with other veggie patch. Self-sowed celeries are still growing on this patch. We still have to work on this hard clay soil here.
Arrgghhh...can't wait to cut some celery stalks. Grow celery grow. Hopefully this year it won't bolt that quickly for us to enjoy some long harvest. Those celeries are growing in total shade block by that wall. However, this is the best spot to grow celery in our garden. I think it must be because of the soil.

13 comments:

Mr. H. said...

When we first started gardening under our trees I was not sure anything would grow because it was fairly shaded with only filtered sunlight but over the years we have been amazed at just how many things will thrive in a somewhat shady environment. It is good to see that you are having a similar experience with some of your vegetables. Perhaps these plants do not need so much direct sun as people think...maybe they just need light.

p3chandan said...

Its so happen Im growing a few veggies like tomato, beans, celery under the shade now, not only they are protected from the hot hot sun but also from the rain we are having now. I find that they grow better and healthier like your patch there. I have lots more beans than before too!

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

I think salad type plants will put up with some shade

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
Hmmm...Tom can surely help with some organic fertiliser there. Mama's not happy with the progress of her garden now. Too many interfering cats she said. purrrr *giggles*

rainfield61 said...

It rains occasionally over here, and this save time on watering my garden.

~Holly~ said...

I hope your plants do well. I'm still amazing at how well they're doing despite the weather. It must be all your TLC! =0)

Daphne said...

I've got a lot of shade this time of year and as we get into fall a lot of the garden will be in shade. There is a huge maple in my neighbor's yard. When the sun gets low enough it is shade time. At least in the spring all the leaves are off and things still grow well. This will be the first fall, so I'll see how things grow.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

In the shade you have a bountiful harvest already! Nothing grows well for me in the shade other than lettuce and blueberries...the florence fennel I planted there is still so small compared to the others I've already harvested so I think lack on sunshine makes a huge difference in my garden I love seeing all of your vegetable beds!! Always so much going on.

Liz said...

I hadn't thought of putting celery in the shade - I'll definitely give it a go. I find greatest success with lettuce and parsley in the shade. I did grow some ginger last year too with mixed results and most surprisingly I got some potatoes about two weeks ago which grew completely in shade. Its interesting what works and what doesn't.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mr. H~ As long as there are light I think the plants will be happy. I found that our plants prefer to be in shade during our summer since the direct sun is scorching hot.

p3chandan~Its good to hear that you have more success growing in shades over there. The soil will be moister in the shade too and you don't have to water them too often.

Sue~ Our salad grow much better in shade during summer.

Cat-from-Sydney~Tom has abandon us since his mother is not travelling that often nowadays.

Rainfield~We have occasional rain as well now. So we are not worried if we skill 2 or 3 days without watering.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Holly~My plants are being neglected more and more each month. But I do find planting different variety helps to reduce TLC as they support each other';-).

Daphne~I found that green leaves vegetables can still be happy receiving only a few hours of sun in the morning and non in the afternoon.

Mrs Bok~I found florence fennel needs more sunlight. I have some growing in the shade as well and they are a bit smaller then the ones receiving more sun. Hopefully as spring comes we will received more lights there and it pick up growth.

Liz~We found parsley and coriander grow very well in shade too. Celery does well in shade but it grows much slower with places that received more light. Since celery need more moisture the shade is much better to prevent it becomes stringy as we don't have that much water here.

Hughbert said...

Yep, I think it definitely depends on climate. A lot of books are written for cool temperate climates and they recommend 6-8 hours of direct sun for many veggies. Like you, my experience is that this much will fry a lot of stuff unless it is on constant irrigation.

One I am trying at the moment for shade is Alpine Strawberry. I have raised some from seed and just planted them out underneath my young almond tree where I also have dense plantings of broad beans, fennel and borage, so plenty of shade.

I also read recently that Rhubarb is quite adaptable to shade. I am planning to give this a go as I recently bought a rhubarb plant which I still have in a pot.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Hughbert~ Alpine strawberries that we grown from seeds 3 years ago are in shade and they fruit for us all year round. This year I made divisions of that old alpine strawberries plants last month. The new plants are picking up growth this month. Some has even started to flower. Mother plants are already having many blooms. I think I was a bit ruthless when I separated them.Lucky I was forgiven.