Plants need sunlight to grow and thrive. They are best planted in areas where they can receive a good amount of sunshine daily.
Due to this reason, if you are starting a garden, it is always wise to choose an area where the plants can get sufficient sunlight.
However, not all properties have areas that can receive sunlight. These homes may have outdoor spaces covered by a roof, tall trees, and walls, which prevent the place from receiving the sun’s rays.
Growing and cultivating a garden, therefore, can be quite difficult in such circumstances. However, it doesn’t mean that it will be impossible to do so.
If your home doesn’t get sufficient sunlight, you can start a shade garden.
A shade garden is a garden with plants that can grow and thrive even with little or no sunlight. Although cultivating such foliage can present some challenges, you can still be successful.
Moreover, you have the opportunity to grow unusual plants that won’t fail to capture the eye of anyone who sees them.
How to Start a Shade Garden
Lawn care pros in Columbus, Ohio share below five handy tips for starting a shade garden:
Know the type of shade you are dealing with.
There are different kinds of dimness you have to contend with when you want to start a shade garden. You have to know the particular one (or ones) you have at home to know what varieties of plants you can grow.
The different types of shades are:
- Light – Also known as open shade, this type occurs in areas that receive light that is not too bright yet fairly even. This is often caused by shadows from trees, walls, and other structures blocking the sun.
- Partial – Under this type, the area receives sunlight for several hours (usually four hours or less) daily but remains shaded for the rest of the day. Spaces that are shaded for three hours during the hottest part of the day also fall under this category.
- Filtered – Areas that get sunlight that passes through trees or other structures receive filtered shade. They both get dappled sunlight and shade (whatever is present during specific times of the day).
- Full – Also known as deep shade, areas under this category receive little sunlight, if any at all. These spaces are often found directly under large structures.
Once you know which type or types of shade you are dealing with, map them out to know where to grow which varieties of plants.
Check the type of soil you have.
There is a wide selection of plants that can grow under each type of shade. However, to ensure you choose the right ones and to be certain they will thrive, you need to consider the kind of soil you have.
A soil test will check the level of acidity and alkalinity in your yard. Moreover, you will know what kind of soil you have and its ability to retain or drain water.
Dry areas in shade gardens are often found under large trees or against walls or structures that prevent wind and rain from drenching the ground. If the soil is chalky or sandy, you will have bigger problems to contend with.
Damp areas in shady gardens, on the other hand, are typically found in cool, moist woodland areas. They are often near water and have clay soil.
Amend the soil.
Once you have identified what type of soil you have, you need to fix it to encourage the growth of plants.
If you have dry soil, add plenty of organic matter such as compost and cover crops, and mulch to help the ground retain moisture.
For damp areas, you have to use organic matter to enhance drainage. Mulch can also help with breaking down the soil and improving its structure.
When using mulch, always apply three to six inches of organic or plant materials and make sure these are spread evenly. By doing so, you ensure the soil gets the benefits it provides plus the extra protection against weeds.
However, avoid piling mulch around trunks and other plants since it can cause the foliage to rot.
Choose the right plants.
One of the upsides of starting a shade garden is that you have a variety of plants you can choose to grow.
Ajuga, bigroot geranium, and bleeding heart all thrive under light shade. If the area gets six hours of sun every day, you may even be able to grow kale, mint, spinach, and other green vegetables.
Colorful annuals such as begonias, dwarf salvias, and impatiens grow well in partial shade. Perennials that you can cultivate in the same condition include evergreens like ivy, juniper, and hosta lilies.
Woodland flowers such as bleeding hearts, black snakeroot, violets, and wild ginger thrive well in dark shade.
If you are dealing with dappled shaded areas with enough humidity, you will be able to grow begonias, coleus, hydrangeas, and ferns.
Try to grow as many varieties as you can so that you can introduce color and texture in your garden and make it more appealing.
Grow plants in pots.
Lastly, landscaping pros in Lewis Center, Ohio say that you can add color and appeal to your garden easily with potted plants that thrive in the shade.
Begonias, fuchsias, and pansies are some of the shade-growing flowering plants that you can grow in containers. They capture the eye easily and make your garden more appealing.
Additionally, when you grow plants in pots, you will be able to monitor their development and move them or adjust their position to ensure they get some sunlight.
Starting a garden when you don’t have the best conditions can be pretty challenging. However, with patience, hard work, and following the right gardening tips, you can still have healthy, beautiful plants in your home.
Leave a Reply