We build and deliver garden bed frames to Hunterdon, Warren, Morris County, NJ & Northampton County, PA.

Click here for an alphabetically ordered list of NJ gardening articles.

YES! We're on Facebook. Click the link to view and like our page.

RECENTLY ADDED

Controlling Weeds in Your Organic Garden

Chemical-Free Pest Control for Your NJ Organic Garden

Grow Better Tomatoes by Amending the Soil

"Winter Sowing Works" Amazon Kindle Book from Bohemian Reflections

Enjoy a Discounted Price on Our Newest E-Guide... Growing Herbs in NJ Zone 6

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes from Seed

Buying Good Garden Soil in Hunterdon, NJ

What Type of Soil is Right for My Raised Garden Beds?

Growing Tomatoes for Sauce

NJ Tomato Growing: Organic Control of Aphids, Stink Bugs and Fruit Worms

Homemade, Home-Canned Salsa - Instructions and Recipe

NEW E-GUIDE! Preserving the Harvest: How to Can, Freeze, Pickle, Dehydrate and Cold-Store

Growing Garlic in NJ

NJ Garden Bed Installation for Fall 2016

Gardening Shortcut: How to Plant Your Fall Vegetables in 2 Hours or Less

What is Direct Sowing? Best Garden Plants to Direct Sow in Your Garden

5 Common Gardening Mistakes

What does Kale look like? (Kale vs. Collards vs. Swiss Chard)

Customer Testimonials - Gardening E-Guide and Garden Bed Installation

6 Quick Tips for Gardening Without the Use of Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides

NJ Zone 6 Organic Gardening Guide Teaches New Gardeners How to Grow Their Own Dinner

A Shady-Yard Vegetable Garden: Is It Possible?

A reader emailed us asking if there was any hope for growing garden vegetables in her shady yard, in which the sun was being blocked out by several mature oak trees.

We did some research, and some thinking, and this is what we came up with. If anyone has any stories of successfully growing veggies and herbs in a yard with a lot of shade, please tell us what you did to make this happen! We welcome all pertinent comments on Facebook.

The first tip we came across was to trim all low-hanging tree branches from (in the reader's case), those great oaks. This makes sense for a few reasons:

1. Trimming your trees will improve their health overall.

2. Trimming your trees will increase the amount of light that comes into your yard, making better growing conditions for your plants.

3. Trimming trees improves safety for little ones (the reader did mention that she had a young child), who may be playing beneath them.

We also found a handy list of garden vegetables that do best with minimal sunlight. Below are the more commonly known ones from that list.

Since our reader also mentioned wishing to garden with her little one, we figured we'd include the ones that will mostly appeal to kids, i.e. not too strong-tasting (lettuce), or fun to grow, like mint.

Shady Characters in the Veggie Garden Story:

Beans (bush variety): 4-5 hours of sun per day

Bok choy: minimum 2 hours of sun per day

Carrots (baby): 3-5 hours per day. If you manage to get 4-5 hours of sun you may get full-size carrots, but the number of days to maturity will increase

Chard: 3-4 hours (will reduce stalk development but produce tender leaves)

Chives: minimum 3 hours of sun per day

Cilantro: minimum 3 hours of sun per day

Kale: 3-4 hours of sun per day

Lettuce: 3-4 hours of sun per day. The shade may actually buy you some additional weeks of harvesting, as lettuce bolts quickly in the heat of summer.

Mesclun greens: 2-3 hours of sun per day. Harvests as quick as 1 month.

Lemon balm: minimum 3 hours of sun per day. Grow lemon balm in its own garden bed, as it is an invasive plant.

Mint: minimum 3 hours of sun per day. Should grow in its own pot, away from the main garden bed.

Parsley: Minimum 3 hours of sun per day

Peas: 4-5 hours of sun per day

Radishes: 4-5 hours of sun per day

Scallions: Scallions are baby onions. Minimum 3 hours of sun per day.

Spinach: 3-4 hours of sun per day. Harvesting as baby spinach will lengthen the growing season.

Other workarounds for your shady garden effort:

Relocate the veggie garden to another, sunnier spot on the property, such as the side of the house, or even the front yard.

Create smaller, mini gardens in spots on the property that you know receive more sun. Be sure, though, that the garden hose is able to reach all of the areas where you plant.

We also came across some information on reflective mulches, which are made of plastic or aluminum and increase the amount of sun absorbed by your growing veggies... but we're a bit skeptical of this being a safe option for growing food eaten by your family.

According to this article, plastic mulch has been used commercially to hasten the ripening of many fruits and vegetables since the 1960s. However, it is worth pointing out that this is an organic gardening website, so we are searching for healthier methods of growing food for our families. Hot plastic and aluminum exposure seems a bit dubious, if you ask us.

Here is a photo of a reflective mulch... try it at your own risk!


GardenBedsNJ.com is owned by Mike Hyde and 4 Seasons Lawn Care. We build, deliver and install raised garden beds to Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ and Northampton County, PA.

Contact us for more information: 908 783 5733 or email mikehyde@4seasonslawns.com today!

 

 

What's New

Are You a New Gardener in Need of Guidance?

The Complete Beginner's E-Guide to Organic Gardening in NJ Zone 6 is now available for purchase. Learn more here.

Buy Now