The Q&A Archives: Shady Container Vegetables

Question: My patio gets partial sun - 3 hours full at the very most. It is shady most of the day. Please advise regarding growing vegetables in containers.

Answer: If you're determined, you can make it work! Gardeners in your situation can make up some of the ground lost with shade by giving plants TLC. Fortunately your warm climate will help a lot! Stake up or trellis plants (tomatoes, peppers, cukes) so leaves get maximum exposure to the scant sunlight; use rich, well-balanced, well-drained soil in the pots, and fertilize according to their needs (good gardening books will give you a schedule). Containers require more frequent watering - never let them dry out completely. A light mulch on the soil will help equalize moisture. Experiment with different crops and varieties each year, and you'll wind up with a handful of edibles you can count on. Have fun!

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