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Deep Shade Yards- only good for greens and mushrooms?  RSS feed

 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
Posts: 107
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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My city lot has very very little sun, and a number of mature trees. There is sun in one narrow strip for about 5 hours. I have begun a PLAN, to plant up with mostly herbs, perennial vegetables, and some currant bushes. I have the bulk of the yard with weak grasses and moss on rocky subsoil, Tree roots are right there. Most of the shade is from the neighbors trees, and a huge heritage big leaf maple. Any ideas on some useful ground cover,and/or other shrubs.. or if a small pond feasible in my 5 hour sun strip, enough for growing fish? I have some things like strawberries and violets that are my current ground covers, seems the herbs do the best overall. I have 2 hugelkultur beds one has been planted with asparagus, the other was unable to support potatoes due to lack of sun and it is un planted at this time.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Hostas -- shade loving plants that are cultivated as vegetables in their native land (Japan).

Here is some more information, along with recipes.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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You could consider thinning the crowns of the mature trees, or even felling them. Just work out if they serve a useful purpose first (like summer shade in a hot climate).
 
Bethanny Parker
Posts: 28
Location: Grant, MI
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I have been researching to find edible plants to grow on the north side of my house, which is shaded by both the house and by trees. I haven't tried any of these yet, but I plan to test as many as possible this year and see how it goes.

Shade-tolerant edibles: Nanking cherry, currants, heuchera, horseradish, hostas, wintergreen.

Edibles that tolerate some shade: Asparagus, beans, beets, carrots, chard, kale.

That's all I've got so far. I'm still looking.

Beth
 
Jay Angler
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Part of the problem is that even if a plant will "tolerate" shade, they may not produce a good crop if there is insufficient sun or may not be as sweet as the same plant receiving more sun. I've just started some Ostrich Fern for fiddleheads (just make sure you know they recommend fiddleheads be boiled for a minimum of 10 min to be edible for many people) and it will be interesting to see how they like the very shady hugelkultur I planted them in.
I did a bunch of research on Hostas and had trouble finding sources for ones that focus on tasting good rather than just looks. I'm not very trusting of plant labels in the average nursery, but maybe I should start knocking on doors asking for taste-testing leaves in my area. Unfortunately, I suspect that the ones that taste good to humans probably will also taste good to the local deer. What is life without challenges??
J.
 
fiona smith
Posts: 141
Location: UK
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i have a north facing yard, and have been researching planting for it, with addition to the above,

honeysuckle, winter jasmine, gooseberries also will do fairly well there, and the dandelions and nettles i left in last year went banana's.
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 1934
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Paw paw trees are a possibility for fruit production in (semi) shade. I noticed that in geoff lawton's video tour of the "Paradise Lot" permaculture yard in Massachusetts, they had paw paws along the north side of their house, bearing fruit. In Wisconsin I planted my paw paws next to my apple trees, and read that they require shade as babies.
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 876
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Some plants don't like the root competition from trees, especially vegetables. Maybe you run a trial with a raised bed and a weed mad which lets the water through? Or some bigger pots. Did you manage to grow mushrooms? Strawberries do well in shade (at least here). Lot of medicinal herbs actually like shade.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Ramps (wild leeks) grow in deciduous forests (but not well in evergreens).
They require the early spring sun, but after that, the sun will kill them.

 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
Posts: 107
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Thank you all for your replies.. I did not know about hostas that is wonderful. I have so far,, violets mullen oregano comfrey parsnips kale greens cherry tomatoes do okay as do beans some years. strawberry,Ramps as someone mentioned ie; wild leeks plus a fig tree was planted the last spring in my sheltered sunzone I have hops where i have the most sun and they do well. The shade has some good things about it we do have searing hot summers and we do not have air conditioning LOL. We actually have 2 very tall old bing cherry trees that have been socked in.. the ravens have claimed them. They are shaded by neighbors trees so i'm out of luck. Dandelions are abundant in the mossy grass area plus the native lemon balm. Flowers like tiger lily calendula iris rose pineapple sage have done ok I swim in lunaria (money plant) all spring so the place is pretty. Like i said i want to do many more herbs as also suggested. I just planted asparagus in a shorter 6ft long hugelkultur bed I made 2 years ago.. hoping for the best. Also trying some ground cherries first time here this coming spring.

Hosta, honeysuckle, winter jasmine, gooseberries and paw paw.. Nanking cherry, currants, heuchera, horseradish, hostas, wintergreen.all such great suggestions..
Roxanne

 
Michael Judd
Author
Posts: 24
Location: Frederick, Maryland
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I'll just throw in a few more considerations -

musk strawberries (fruit better in shade then their cousins)
sorrels
Good King Henry
goumi
red elderberry
huckleberry
(red & evergreen)
gunnera (Chilean rhubarb)
salmonberry...

Burnt Ridge nursery and Oikos Tree Crops have many of these.

Richters Herbs up in Canada also have an impressive selection of shade tolerant herbs - http://www.richters.com/
 
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