How can a gardener with too much shade and not enough space grow solar-seeking, sun-loving vegetables? In containers.
Garden designer Bud Stuckey grows vegetables in containers when there's too much shade. "Gardening in containers is just natural for me. I like gardening in the ground, but I just don't have that many sunny locations."
Containers can solve soil and shade problems. Not only that, but you can plant bushels of vegetables in planters. Bud outlines a good approach to this style of gardening.
Laying the foundation
"This will act like a timed-release organic fertlizer," Bud says about that top mix. "As we water, all those good nutrients leach their way down."
The soil level should be just a couple of inches below the top of your container, and it'll settle a little bit after it's been watered.
Planting the container
Some plants to consider including in your planter are kale, red leaf lettuce, and stevia, a sweet herb (figure C). Also think about alyssum, which attracts beneficial insects (which in turn take care of the bad insects).
Tip: Buy your plants small to get more for your buck. Then don't break up the root balls. At their early stage, they don't need anything more than to be planted right into your container. Plant seeds at a depth that is 1-1/2 times their diameter.
And be careful where you place that container. If it sits directly on a hardscaped surface, it may absorb too much heat. Invest in a plant stand (figure D), pot feet or saucers.
Care and maintenance
As always, make sure to water your containers regularly, and ideally when the temperature is going up (so be armed with your bucket first thing in the morning).
raised bed: Knox Garden Box
water bubbler: Ace Hardware