Hi permies! I'm looking to design a garden with a few different sections, one of them being a shade gardens. Can people suggest some good plants that like shade, edible is better, that would be happy in (specifically) San Francisco's climate?
Let me know! Thanks!
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I'm new to permaculturegardening in general and our shade garden (front lawn) in particular so take this with a grain of salt, but my research turned up many fruiting plants (raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, elderberries) and greens (chard, kale, lettuce) that will tolerate shade. Not thrive, but just survive and if there is at least partial sun/dappled shade, produce edibles (though at a less impressive yield than if they were in a sunnier location).
Our strategy here is to only risk planting stuff in the shade garden that we've read reports of "shade tolerance" and that we won't mind a smaller yield (a lot of berries fall into this category as the plants yield quite a lot in full sun and our own eating habits can only find so many uses for fresh berries, so a low yield just reduces opportunities to can, freeze, or make wine). Will be interesting to see how it works out.
Our shade is from a massive boulevard tree and nearby houses/ornamental trees, but all spaced so there is some "edge" sun from the east and west, and a bit of dappled sun from above. Some areas right by the house are total shade though and we're not expecting a lot of edibles from these areas (though still trying the berries/greens strategy, plus a North Line serviceberry tree, a scotch pine (nuts/pollen) on the NW corner, some junipers (berries can be used to season meat), an ornamental birch and some mushroom projects eventually).
The succession vision is for a shady forest garden, probably with some of the lower level edibles shaded out or producing very little further down the line (a decision based mostly on things we can't change like the massive ancient boulevard tree, neighbor houses, and the north-facing slope). We figure it's worth planting edibles even if they only manage a bit of productivity (but may be wrong and have to replace with more ornamental perennials that at least improve the biodiversity and create biomass, etc.). Mainly we want all the grass, hostas, and arborvitae out of there (inherited generic St. Paul landscaping when we bought the house this spring, stella d'oro daylilies and hybrid roses were the only blooming things that looked intentionally planted). Funny part is we found a few patches of volunteer raspberries in front of the daylilies and shrubs in the shadiest spot on the east side of the house (only 4' from the house, covered in shade from the neighbor's house 4' the other direction). So we know stuff will fruit there, even though it looks like it's deeply shaded during all hours of the day. Fruit-in-hand is all the proof of concept we need to put something in there, shade or sun.
different kinds of berries definitely. i have seen sometimes in august when sun is very strong it burns blackberry fruits. i would add strawberries and cucumber. maybe pumkins (but those two last need lot of water)...........
Some more I got out of one of "Gaia's garden"'s lists, don't have any experience with them, I think I only listed those with edible parts: pawpaw Eleagnus varieties Devil's club Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Bunchberry Ginseng Mitsuba Mint varieties Pink purslane Sweet cicely Tarragon Watercress
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if you are in such a warm climate a lot of things probably would grow better in a little shade then in the sun anyway..so try just about anything with a little shade..or even deeper shade even if it does say full sun..
i have a lot of things growing in shade that say they require full sun, and they bear heavily..even grapes.
Bloom where you are planted.
If you have really deep shade (can be 10+ degrees cooler than surrounding sunny areas) it might be a good micro-climate for zone-stretching too. Try some edibles that are only good to zone 6, etc. and they might work well in full shade (rhubarb is a good one... very robust plant that adapts to all kinds of soil and water conditions).
Strategy-wise, you could try planting a test bed with just one of many plants to see which ones do better. I've also seen people plant excess in shade (dozens of blueberries under a large shade tree in the case of an edible garden here in St. Paul) to compensate for lower yield per plant. I'd just avoid any plant that I don't find any reports of shade tolerance for in my zone (like researching online, people will say grapes tolerate shade but in nursery catalogs it says they need full sun... ignore the catalog and go by what people report from real gardens).
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
Perhaps, for maximum yield, grapes need full sun. Before mankind domesticated the grape, the wild ones, being a climbing vine, would typically grow up a tree trunk, and spread along the lower limbs. Sounds like shade to me.
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