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Made in the Shade

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March 26, 2019

It’s easy to garden in the shade when you understand what kind you’ve got today on Southern Gardening.

Gardening in the shade can be very intimidating. For that reason many people don’t even try, because they believe nothing can grow there. The key is to match the plants to the type of shade you have. The topic of shade in the garden can be confusing as not all shade is created equal. Light shade lasts for no more than two to four hours during the heat of the day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Filtered shade is commonly called dappled shade. As tree branches move in the wind, shafts of light are able to squeeze through to the ground. Part shade areas receive up to five hours of shade any time during the day. Full shade lasts all day. It’s the shade you find under a tall group of trees or between houses. These areas are lit by sunlight shining or reflected in from the sides. Dense shade is the darkest type of shade. No sunlight reaches into these areas. Dense, low-growing trees cast this type.

Tips for growing plants in the shade include:

  • spacing plants a little farther apart to aid air circulation
  • providing support in the shade as plants will
  • And as in any garden always mix both annual and perennial so something is always blooming.

Knowing the type of shade you have, your garden can be as full, varied, and exciting as any garden in the sun. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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