♪ [music] ♪ – [Beverly] Hi, Angela.

– [Angela] Hi, Beverly.

– You know, we get asked very, very often or the comment is made very, very often, “I have shade. I can’t grow any vegetables or edibles because I have too much shade.” That’s simply not true.

– It’s not true. And you know, in the Houston garden, we plant intentionally for shade because we have very hot summers.

– Right.

– And so it’s wonderful from the standpoint, it’s more comfortable for us out there. But then we do worry about what can we plant that we can actually take to the table and eat. And it’s surprising how many of them there really are.

– So saying the word shade is a very broad term.

– Yes, it is.

– So there are actually degrees of shade. You know, typically if you get two or three hours of sun, that’s a more shady area. There’s high shade which would be our tall pines that can get splashes of morning and evening sun.

– If you’ll go out and look especially close to noon, you’ll see that there are big pockets where there’s plenty of filtered light coming through.

– And then we have a lot of deciduous trees.

– Right. We have deciduous trees.

– So certain times of the year, you’ve got what ‘s a shady bed in the summer is a sunny area in the fall in winter.

– That’s very true. And, you know, we say the word heavy shade sometimes when we walk out and we see the shadows in our yard but we don’t really have heavy shade because that would be defined as something like a forest condition. And we define six to eight hours as full sun for most plants.

– Exactly.

– So really when you’re getting into that three to four-hour range, you have a lot of vegetables you can grow. And then when you drop into that two hours, two to three hours, you have even, you know, another selection you can grow. In addition, as you mentioned, the sun quality changes throughout the year so there may be some place that you do lettuce beautifully in winter and early spring.

But by the time it starts getting warm, you need to relocate that lettuce.

– Right. So and another good tip is to go out there and literally map your sun. Take a sheet of paper, 8,10, 12, 2, 4 and look at your areas and specifically map your sun.

– Right. We actually call that a sun survey or a light survey where you kind of judge that and it’s through the course of a day and also through the course of your season.

– Of seasons. Exactly. So I’ve got, say, I live in a townhome or an apartment.

– Mm-hmm.

– I’ve got a balcony of part shade, just a few hours of sun. Going to be growing in containers, that’s also a mindful consideration. And I can choose from all of this?

– You can choose all kinds of things. So we kind of know that lettuce is going to do well in those conditions because it’s sort of tender on its own and we get the idea that full blazing sun might not make it too happy.

– Right.

– So lots and lots of lettuces, but in addition to that, many of your greens. And, you know, we speak often about the fact that the group that we call Asian greens is not just one or two, a bok choy or a mizuna, it’s literally hundreds of different varieties of Asian greens many of which do absolutely beautiful and a part-sun or shady condition.

– Well, you know, I was really surprised to see you put out here these bean and carrot seeds.

– It does surprise people but pole beans, you know, your field peas, the things that we consider the southern peas, like purple hulls and things like that, those are a full-sun bean, but your pole beans, your snap beans, can take that part shade condition. And if you have three to four hours of light on them, you’ll have a wonderful crop and the plants will stay quite healthy too.

– Perfect. And you also have garlic and potatoes.

– Yes. Garlic and potatoes will take a part-sun or part-shade condition and do quite well and some of your other alliums will too. Some of your larger bulbed onions don’t do terrible well in the shade. But the things like the garlic chives, you know, some of your smaller bulbed onions, they’ll do quite well, your non-bulbing onions.

– Right. And you know, you mentioned the lettuce but I want to point out this guy. Sorrel is…everybody just walks by it because I think they’re not really sure what to do with it.

– Right.

– What a wonderful flavor.

– It is a wonderful flavor, you know. Some of the sorrels have that little lemony kind of sharp ripe flavor, plus the fact that I think it has a very attractive leaf and that this is one of the cut and come again crops where you can come out and you’ll pinch these older leaves back and you’ll leave the crown of the plant to grow again and it will literally go and go and go just like chard will do the same thing.

– Right. And in a bright shade garden, this is basically a year-round plant.

– Yeah. It’s very happy there.

– Yes. And mints, of course, mints and strawberries are the good companions.

– Yes, they are good companions.

– And great in hanging baskets as well.

– In fact, it’s a very good way to manage the mint because mint is known, it spreads by the little runners and it’s known to kind of sort of take over its corner of the garden. And there’s so many wonderful mint flavors.

– Oh my gosh, yes.

– And they can be used so many different ways. Literally just popping them in your mouth when you walk by to using in teas.

– I crush them and put them in my bottle of water during the day.

– What a great idea.

– Yeah.

– But like I said, teas and you know, just for baking all kinds of things that you can use the mints for. So isolating them in hanging baskets, they get that part shade condition that they like, they don’t take over the world and you can enjoy your mints.

– And, you know, I think one surprise people often get is that you can really grow rosemary quite well in part-shade.

– You can. And it is surprising because we identify it as a Mediterranean herb that it would like hot, drier conditions, but many of them do beautifully in part-shade.

– And again, a nice deer repellent.

– Yeah.

– Yes. So, gosh, what a great table you’ve got here and we just need to encourage all of you with shade, you can grow edibles.

– Certainly can. ♪ [music] ♪

The Arbor Gate

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