Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shade Tolerant Vegetables

At my old house I did not grow a normal garden. I mixed my veggies among the flowers. I use lettuces as a border. Many times put tomatoes at the foundation of the house. With colorful flowers in front. But at the home I am in right now. We had a termite treatment  applied to both the inside and outside of the entire foundation. So there is no way I will ever plant any edible plants near the house foundation. I do have many hostas planted in the front near the foundation. But even though some hostas are edible.  I will not try to eat them. I decided to compile a list of shade tolerant veggies. For my future reference.

 The following veggies will grow with as little as three to six hours of sun per day.
  1. Arugula
  2. Beans
  3. Broccoli
  4. Blackberries and raspberries
  5. Beets
  6. Brussels Sprouts
  7. Cabbage 
  8. Cauliflower 
  9. Cress
  10. Collards
  11. Currants
  12. Coriander
  13. Cardamom
  14. Carrots
  15. Cilantro
  16. Dill
  17. Endive
  18. Garlic
  19. Green onions
  20. Gooseberries
  21. Kale
  22. Kohlrabi 
  23. Lemon Balm
  24. Lettuce
  25. Mint
  26. Mustard greens
  27. Pak Choy
  28. Parsley
  29. Peas
  30. Potatoes
  31. Radishes
  32. Rhubarb
  33. Sorrel
  34. Spinach 
  35. Strawberries
  36. Swiss Chard
  37. Sweet potatoes and yams
  38. Tarragon
  39. Thyme
  40. Turnips
Shade Notes
Growing Tips
Arugula At least three to four hours of sun per day. Arugula welcomes shade, as this crop is prone to bolting as soon as the weather turns warm if in full sun.
Asian greens At least two hours of sun per day. Asian greens such as bok choi (also spelled “pac choi” and “pak choi”), komatsuna and tatsoi will grow wonderfully with a couple hours of sun plus some bright shade or ambient light.
Chard If you grow chard mainly for its crisp stalks, you will need at least five hours of sun per day; if you grow it mainly for the tender baby leaves, three to four hours of sun per day will be enough. Expect chard grown in partial sade to be quite a bit smaller than that grown in full sun. Baby chard leaves are excellent cooked or served raw in salads.
Culinary herbs At least three hours of sun per day. While many culinary herbs need full sun, chives, cilantro, garlic chives, golden marjoram, lemon balm, mint, oregano and parsley will usually perform well in shadier gardens.
Kale At least three to four hours of sun per day. You'll notice only a small reduction in growth if comparing kale grown in partial shade with kale grown in full sun.
Lettuce At least three to four hours of sun per day. Lettuce is perfect for shadier gardens because the shade protects it from the sun’s heat, preventing it from bolting as quickly. Often, the shade can buy a few more weeks of harvesting time that you’d get from lettuce grown in full sun.
Mesclun One of the best crops for shady gardens. Grows in as little as two hours of sun per day and handles dappled shade well. The delicate leaves of this salad mix can be harvested in about four weeks, and as long as you leave the roots intact, you should be able to get at least three good harvests before you have to replant.
Mustard greens At least three hours of sun per day for baby mustard greens. Mustard grown for baby greens is best-suited for shady gardens.
Peas and beans At least four to five hours of sun. If growing these crops in partial shade, getting a good harvest wil take longer. Try bush and dwarf varieties rather than pole varieties.
Root vegetables At least four to five hours of sun per day for decent production. Beets, carrots, potatoes, radishes and turnips will do OK in partial shade, but you'll have to wait longer for a full crop. The more light you have, the faster they'll mature. Alternatively, you can harvest baby carrots or small new potatoes for a gourment treat that would cost an arm and a leg at a grocery store.
Scallions At least three hours of sun per day. This crop does well in partial shade throughout the growing season.
Spinach At least three to four hours of sun per day. Spinach welcomes shade, as it bolts easliy if in full sun. If you grow it specifically to harvest as baby spinach, you'll be able to harvest for quite a

Friday, April 25, 2014

How to make a raised garden bed

I bought pre-cut  cedar boards to make this quicker and easier. I used 1inch wide by 8 inch tall in 4foot and 6 foot lengths. I will be making two, 4foot by 4 foot beds. And two, 4 foot by 6 foot beds. And to secure the corners together. I bought two 8 foot lengths of 2"x2 inch. I cut them down to 12 inch long.Total cost for lumber about $100.00 Us. And screws about $5.00
This first bed will be used to plant potatoes. The way I am doing this bed, I hope will help with both too much water and not enough.  It is called the Hugelkultur way to garden. Where you dig down a bit and add wood. The wood will act like a sponge. and wick it into the roots of the plant. And by it being raised. The water will not stay in the bed to flood the plants. When we have excessive rain. So I hope this combo. Will make the water level just right. 
 Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Height chart for vegetables

Vegetable Size at
Vegetable Size at
     Artichoke   4' - 5'      Kohlrabi    9"-12"
     Arugula   8"-10"      Leeks  12"-24"
     Asparagus   4' - 6'      Lettuce   6"-12"
     Beans, bush  24"-30"      Okra   2' - 8'
     Beans, Lima (bush) 24" - 36"      Onions   8" - 24"
     Beans, pole  8' - 12'      Parsnips   6"-18"
     Beets  4" - 12"      Peas   2' - 6'
     Broccoli 18"- 24"      Peppers, hot 12" - 48"
     Brussels sprouts 24" - 36"      Peppers, bell 24" - 36"
     Cabbage 12" - 18"      Potatoes 12" - 30"
     Carrots 6" - 15"      Pumpkin 12" - 24"
     Cauliflower 12" - 30"      Radishes  2" - 6"
     Celery 18" - 24"      Rhubarb 12" - 36"
     Chard 12" - 30"      Rutabaga 12" - 18"
     Chinese           cabbage 12" - 24"      Spinach 6" - 15"
     Corn   4' - 8'      Squash, summer 12" - 24"
     Cucumber  1' - 5'      Squash, winter 12" - 24"
     Eggplant  1' - 3'      Sweet potato 12" - 30"
     Endive  6" - 9"      Tomatoes     2' - 8'
     Garlic 12" - 24"      Turnips   6" - 12"
     Kale 12" - 24"      Watermelon 12" - 36"

How deep are vegetable plant roots?

Shallow Rooting
12" - 18"
Medium Rooting
18" - 24"
Deep Rooting
24" - 36"+
     Arugula      Beans, dry      Artichokes
     Broccoli      Beans, pole      Asparagus
     Brussels sprouts      Beans, snap      Beans, Lima
     Cabbage      Beets      Okra
     Cauliflower      Cantaloupe      Parsnips
     Celery      Carrots      Pumpkins
     Chinese cabbage      Chard      Rhubarb
     Corn      Cucumber      Squash, winter
     Endive      Eggplant      Sweet potatoes
     Garlic      Kale      Tomatoes
Kohlrabi Bok Choy  Peas  Watermelon

     Lettuce      Peppers
     Onions, Leeks, Chives      Rutabagas
     Potatoes      Squash, summer
     Radishes      Turnips

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Seed starting 2014 Zone 5 b

I tried some new things this year. Only 2 days ago I just put in about an inch +/- potting soil and randomly sprinkled Heirloom Green sprouting broccoli seeds around the top. I used the see thru cover dome of a store bought cake. And placed aluminum foil on the top. Set it on a shelf away from the sunny window. And look at this growth.   

This container has failed 2 times. I tried pepper seed a few weeks ago. And lettuces a week ago. I looked closer to see it has a small vent for the hot food to release steam. So Today I put a plastic bag over it and will let it sit. To see if any thing happens. 
The cups in the window are doing great! I saved seed from the best watermelon we have had in years. And some tomatoes that were awesome. Name of seed is unknown. We bought them from local farms. 

Garden dates for Zone 5b 2014

USDA Hardiness Zone: Zone 5b: -15F to -10F
PlantMaps Hardiness Zone: Zone 5b: -15F to -10F
Days Where Temp Exceeds 86°F: 61 - 90 days Ecoregion: 39k -
Prairie Ozark Border Freeze Data: Average First Frost October 21 - 31
Average Last Frost: April 11 - 20

 To find USDA Hardiness Zone information for your area look at this link.