Answer: Nearly all plants need some sunlight, but even in deep shade you should be able to grow some things. You might try hosta (there are many varieties available with different leaf colors and textures and some have fragrant blooms), which is a perennial but makes a nice back drop for annuals. You might try impatiens and caladiums and the polka dot plant (Hypoestes) for annuals which provide a lot of color and are extremely shade tolerant. Sometimes the difference between success and failure is in the soil preparation. You might want to have your soil tested and add any fertilizers or lime as indicated by the results. Your county extension (354-9618) should be able to help you with the testing and interpreting the results. Next, when you prepare the soil, loosen it and add ample amounts of organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding. This, combined with several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark, should help keep the soil moist during the summer season. Finally, make sure to water deeply but less often and avoid light daily sprinkling.
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