What to plant? - Knowledgebase Question

Colliers, WI
Avatar for jmazeska
Question by jmazeska
July 22, 1999
I have a small garden under our bedroom windows. This year I planted green beans and lettuce(the area
receives direct morning sun but by noon the sun has moved but it is still partial sun). Because of drought
conditions and extremly high temps the green beans did not do well. I want to plant some thing
that will do well in these conditions not necessarily a crop but something that will keep the weeds down
and keep the soil from being baked. Any ideas?

Answer from NGA
July 22, 1999
The light conditions you described would be perfect for a small flower garden of plants known to do well in part shade. You could try some of these perennials: hosta, columbine, astilbe, bleeding heart, perennial geraniums, and assorted sedum varieties. You could also try some of these annuals: snapdragon, fibrous rooted begonia, hypoestes (pink polka dot plant), viola, impatiens, caladium, and annual lobelia. You might even add a few herbs which do well in part shade such as parsley and chives.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help any plants survive drought (and grow their best in normal years) is to improve the planting area by incorporating copious amounts of organic matter such as rooted leaves, compost, aged stable manure and bedding, and so on. This helps improve the soil structure so it can hold both water and air. Another very good thing to do no matter what you are growing is to mulch your plants with an organic mulch such as straw or shredded bark. This will feed the soil as it rots down, keep down weeds, and help keep the soil both cool and moist.

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