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What grows in shade?

 
pollinator
Posts: 290
Location: Monticello Florida zone 8a
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Do "full sun" plants like cucumbers actually do well in 3-5 hours of sun per day? Has anyone experimented at all?  Thanks in advance, Huxley.
 
Posts: 125
Location: winston oregon
cattle forest garden greening the desert
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what climate zone are you in?
 
pollinator
Posts: 362
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Leafy vegetables will grow in shade if the weather’s warm enough. I grow lots of spinach, lettuce, chard and herbs like mint and parley in my rainy Australian winters without ever getting direct sunlight because the sun is too low in winter and my fence is too high.

I grew great looking cucumber plants in shade but no cucumbers grew.
 
Huxley Harter
pollinator
Posts: 290
Location: Monticello Florida zone 8a
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I'm in zone 8. We just cut out a couple trees for more light!
 
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still have to try it.  my understanding is 5 hours is really quite a good deal of sun.  cucumber should grow, you might just get a little less production that if you have 6 or 8 hours, but I'd try it for sure.  supposedly herbs and leafy things can do well with a little less sun than say tomatoes.
 
Posts: 26
Location: Piedmont, North Carolina - 7b/8a
9
forest garden fungi urban
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I have a very shady garden.  The sunniest parts may get 5 hours but I think it mostly could be 3 to 4 average, spread throughout the day, mostly mid-day to late afternoon.  Cucumbers are one of my top producers.  I've been growing a landrace based off of 'Boston Pickling' and have plenty for fresh eating and pickling.  The best producer is always pole beans, though.  I plant a 'Kentucky Wonder' landrace that has probably been going for 12 years now and it is a no fail crop, for sure.  Tomatoes can do okay and peppers are a little finicky. It seems all other conditions have to be perfect for them to really produce well. I try different varieties a lot but haven't found ones to fit my conditions yet... When I do I'll probably start saving seeds for those as well.

I finally gave up on squash of any kind.  The one or two squash I might get aren't worth the space.  There was an occasional better year, but powdery mildew always strikes, ending the bounty (or the misery)!

As mentioned, most herbs do well.  Basil prefers the sunnier spots and if you really want a lot of thyme or oregano, give them a sunnier spot.  I usually grow herbs in pots and move them around as the sunny spots change through the summer.  Greens do well, too. I grow more kale than my kids appreciate. I have some red cabbage going this year that looks really good.  I read somewhere that the red color basically helps the plant utilize a dimmer light more effectively.  We'll see, but I am on the look out for more red leaved varieties of anything.

Lettuces, mustards, other types of beans, onions, raspberries, grapes, ground cherries, and, of course, mushrooms, are some of the other things that are or have been successful.  I think to be successful you have to be willing to experiment some and then stick with what works. Good luck!
 
Posts: 571
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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forest garden trees greening the desert
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Turmeric and other types of ginger grow in shade in warm sunny climates, and bring in a decent price.
 
Posts: 418
Location: Portlandish, Oregon
29
forest garden fungi foraging
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I have 0 experience with your climate, but in all climates mushrooms do well in shade.
 
                                
Posts: 27
Location: in the country in southeastern US
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Leafy greens tolerate less light that fruit bearing veggies.  Lettuces do well in shadier spots, as do mustard greens.  Onions seem to tolerate shade, though they do not get as large, they do not die either.  Where I am (zone 8) the issue is too much sun!  So we try for partial shade during the hottest part of the days, and morning sun seems to work best, whereas late afternoon sun is more destructive.  That said, absolute/deep shade is the only thing I can't grow vegetables in, so in those spots I transplant woodland edible plants that like shade.  Most of my foods grow best in what I call "moving" shade (sunny or shady depending on where the tree shadows fall) and they do fine.  
 
                                
Posts: 27
Location: in the country in southeastern US
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Hey Mark, a skim milk spray eradicates powdery mildew and sometimes helps with tobacco mosaic virus to a lesser degree.  Get it on as early as possible as it works best as preventative, but if you get it at the onset it can save infected plants.  Yes, I thought it was odd, but I tried it with good results last year.  I use nonfat dry skim milk, just reconstitute it with twice the water.  Spray on in the morning as there is some research that the sun activates its anti-fungal properties.  

How to make it:
Mix 1 part milk to 2 to 3 parts water in a spray bottle.
Spray the solution onto the leaves of plants, preferably unaffected plants, when the plant is in bright sun. Soak both sides of the leaves until the solution is dripping.
Repeat the spray application every 10 to 14 days.

Sometimes the old timey remedies work BETTER than chemicals.... as long as you do not mind the neighbors thinking you are eccentric!
 
Mark Griffin
Posts: 26
Location: Piedmont, North Carolina - 7b/8a
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Thanks for the tip Kappydell!  Now I want slip a few squash plants into the garden so I can test it out!
 
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