tomatoes in part shade

tammyinwv(z6/WV)March 29, 2010

I have a somewhat smallish backyard. I plan on starting a potager. My problem is if i put it in full sun, that means the middle of my backyard, which my husband is not so keen on. The other place we have in mind gets sun from about 2 pm on.

We are situated on a hill. The sun will come from behind the garden but will be blocked from it by trees until around 2, then due to sitting on a hill, the sun will hit at about a

45° angle. Will this be enough sun for tomatoes and other veggies? My husband says he knew someone who grew tomatoes in the shade, and the tasted great.

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catman529(6b)

If you get full direct sun from 2pm on till sunset, that should be enough. I get fairly good production with sun coming out only from around 12 to 4 pm, because of it being against our house and getting shaded by the neighbors' hosue later in the afternoon.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 8:18PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Thanks catman. Thats what i was hoping to hear.
tammy

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

It certainly wouldn't be ideal or even the norm so hubby's shade story would get a skeptical wink from most of us. ;)

But we all have to make do with what is available. If there simply is no other option and if it turns out that your tomatoes and peppers don't do well, rather than moving the garden you can always grow them in containers placed where there is better sun exposure and save the garden for things more tolerant of limited sun.

But also keep in mind that a nice potager, well maintained, can be exceptionally attractive and quite the show piece and base for relaxation and even entertaining - even in the middle of the backyard. If you haven't already, be sure to browse through the many photos over on the Potager Forum here for lots of good ideas. And show them to hubby. ;)

Enjoy your garden.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:34PM
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star_stuff(Greensboro NC 7a)

Me too ~ sun from 3 pm on, and that is only at the peak of summer. I do fine with tomatoes, peppers, herbs, etc.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:38PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Lol, Dave, i wondered if he was just telling me that so i wouldnt be so set on putting it in the middle of the yard.I have been to the potager forum, and found some real nice pics to show him, but he is not so sure i will be able to keep up the weeding well enough with the fibromyalgia. But I would think it wouldnt be too bad with the raised beds.

Thanks star_stuff. Sounds like I can try, and if things dont work, try other arrangements.
tammy

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:50PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I have heard, but it may not be true, that if you only have sun part of the day, it's better for plants to have the morning sun. Being in shade for the morning and then going into full sun in the afternoon was said to be too much of a shock for the plants.

That said, I've grown a lot of things under less than ideal conditions and many times they do pretty well.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 3:30PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Thanks Susan. I think I will still try convincing him on the full sun area in the middle of the yard. It would save moving it later :)
Tammy

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:29PM
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wiringman(ZONE 4)

tammy,

we have green houses that have 50% shaded glazing. our green house tomatoes do much better then the field tomatoes. i was wondering why other then we get a longer season in the green houses. also the green house gets more attention that the field garden.

i read some where that tomatoes are a heat and air plant more then a sun plant. it is true that they need photosynthesis so a certain amount of sunshine is required.

i really don't know the answer but this works for us and i would plant in partical shade if that was the only place i had. however there are so many plants thet really like the shade better so use the shade for cool weather plants. there is more heat in the direct son.

i hope this helps.

Dean

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:20PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

The guy that lived here before me grew tomatoes in the front yard next to the house when he lived here. That area gets only 3 hours of direct sun because there is a hill with trees across the street which blocks early morning sun. I think that your exposure would be fine but you will not get the production that others get in full sun all day.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:22PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

This is a view of the right side of my backyard. The area with miited sun is indicated by the drawn in white fence. We are on a hill, so noon sun is starting just to the right back corner behind the trees. Then at 2-3 pm, the sun is shown coming in towards the front, but it will come in about a 45 to 50 degree angle since we are on a hill. Then by sundown will set from the left corner of the yard. Where I would like to have it, but afraid it would look out sitting out there by itself is where the trampoline is and face it to the terraced area towards the back of the house.
Tammy
ps, please excuse the mess, we have done no spring cleaning yet.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:09AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I went to a lecture on urban landscaping (living in Boston, and all), and the presenter said that shade was probably the biggest challenge facing urban gardeners. One thing she did remind us was that the position of the sun changes over the course of the season as the sun gets higher in the sky. So where you are getting sun when now may not be where it will be during the growing season. You will want to keep that in mind when planning for your garden site.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:43AM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Susan, I thought of that. Right now the sun is way lower in the sky, but in summer it sets much further to the left of the back yard over the hill in front of us. So by close sunset in summer it would be coming from about the chairs at about a 45 degree angle. I would say from the angle of the shade o from the house on the retaining wall this pic was prob taken about 3 pm last week.
Tammy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:53AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

You're doing a potager garden, right? They are quite pretty. Maybe some photos of well-designed potagers will change your husband's mind a bit? Also, you can grow your tomatoes in containers ... that can be moved into the sun ... and you *might* just forget to move them back. Tomatoes love containers!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:45AM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Susan, thats what I have planned. The weather has stopped us from starting. But last week he got 2 boxes built, and plans more work on it this weekend.
I have grown tomatoes in pots before, but they require lots of attention with watering in the summer. And we usually make a trip to the beach in summer, and sometimes gone for long weekends camping. So mine didnt fare so well. Last yr I just put out 4-5 in ground close to the house. Sounds like the greater consensus is more sun. :(

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:11AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I'm just thinking of the pots as a sort of stealth way to move your potager into the center of the yard. There are watering solutions in the meantime.

BTW, at a bunch of the talks I attended at the flower show last weekend, it was remarkable how many veteran gardeners said they only grow their tomatoes in containers now. I do both.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vacation Watering

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:18AM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

oh ok, now I got you,lol

I would have thought container growing of these wouldnt be so popular. I guess a lot of people today have space constraints.Thanks for the link too.
Tammy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:28AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I didn't get the impression it is space. They just seem to agree that tomatoes do better in (large) containers. Also, many of them grow them in otherwise inhospitable spots (driveways) where there is good sun and access to water. Also the ability to control the soil a little better, and adjust the spacing. I know that none of my container tomato plants blighted last year. I'm not sure that's just a coincidence. And, contrary to your experience, they seem to find them easier to care for than plants in the ground. But maybe that's because they are putting pots in places where they often walk/sit, and therefore pay attention to?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:28PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

That makes a lot of sense Susan. One question tho, can you grow indeterminates in containers ( I have read they can get huge)? I have several heirlooms such as Black Krim, brandywine,Caspian Pink, and others. I have read recommendations to prune to one stem which I was planning on doing. Will this work for containers?
Tammy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:10PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

That's a question for the experts, if they are paying attention to the discussion!

I'm guessing you can with good support.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 3:53PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

I say plant the tomatoes in the sunny spot. And if husband doesn't like it, plant husband in the shady spot. Or try the stealth method of using containers in the sunny spot like already suggested. I posted a link to a video where they have lots of tomatoes planted in containers.

Here is a link that might be useful: video with tomatoes in containers at Love Apple Farm

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 6:20PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

LOL, that was hilarious! I think we are coming to a compromise. So I am working on him. That video was very good.Those are some huge containers.I really appreciate all the thoughts on the matter.
Tammy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:23PM
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aubade

I accidentally build part of my potager in part-shade last year, since in the spring it looked like full sun but as the summer progressed one of the beds got shaded by the neighbor's house.

The plants in that bed didn't grow nearly as well as my full sun beds. Cucumbers barely grew at all. The spring planted carrots and turnips did ok, and mustard greens and arugula in the fall. But I also planted lettuce in the fall and that barely grew at all either.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 3:06PM
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aubade

Sorry I meant to post that in another thread in the potager forum. Somehow the link in the post lead me here.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 3:09PM
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tammyinwv(z6/WV)

Thanks so much Aubade. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. Someone that had actually tried growing with less sun.
Tammy

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 3:49PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

tammy - I'm glad someone appreciates my sense of humor:) And good luck with your tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:58PM
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