We’re still preparing our garden plot but we are getting near to the time to be thinking about getting plants and starting seeds for our food garden project. It’s important to consider the right plants for the right climate and amounts of sunlight that will be available in our turned up plots for growing.
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We have a number of spots that will only get partial sun, about 4 to 5 hours per day. We want to be sure to make the best use of our space and we’re planning plants suitable for partial sun for these areas. With a little research I found that the best plants for these shady areas is going to consist mostly of salad mix.
It is generally considered that plants that are grown for their stalks or leaves do well in partial sunlight
Lettuce, spinach and other greens such as kale, mustard or collard greens do well in partial sun .
Some bush and vine bean plants such as green beans and peas only need partial sun.
Large leaf plants like cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and leaf lettuce are well suited to partial sun.
Bulbs like onions and garlic, along with chives, scallions and green onions are also good edibles to grow in partially sunlit areas.
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Other spices that can be grown in partial sun are thyme, coriander, parsley and mint.
Some fruits like strawberries will also do well in partially sunlit areas. You should test the plants in partial sun while still potted by placing them in these areas for a few hours a day before planting to acclimate the plant to its new home. If it begins to look wilted or like its not doing well you might want to consider another spot with a bit more sun.
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There are many places around our home that we can take advantage of these commonly grown edibles and use extra space for something useful. This is a nice list that can be grown in most of the growing zones or even inside near sunlit windows or on balcony’s that don’t get much sun.
Plants that bear fruit or vegetables generally need full sun for the fruit to ripen. Tomato plants are a perfect example of this. There are a wide variety of plants that can be grown in moderate growing zones and we intend to make use of more than a few of them.
Plants that bear fruit such as tomatoes, different kind of peppers including bell peppers, jalapeno’s and banana peppers need full sun for the fruit to fully ripen.
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Root edibles like potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips and beets will also flourish with many hours of sunlight.
Vine plants like pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers and various kinds of squash also require full sun for their fruits to gain any size and maturity.
Corn plants will require a lot of sun and a nice area all to themselves so they have room to grow and produce ears of sweet corn for us to enjoy this fall.
There’s a lot of options for growing your own and it’s up to you which veggies you put into your garden and your eventual diet.
Unconventional Plant Options:
We’re going to plant some sugar cane and some peanuts in our garden plot. The idea of being able to make our own sweetener and peanut butter is too tempting not to give it a shot.
There are also some wild edibles native to our area that we plan to try to cultivate and process for use. These would be wild raspberries, wild grapes and mint. We already have some raspberry bushes and mint growing, we’ll try to find some wild grapevines and transplant them to our garden plot in a spot chosen just for them.
The mint is already here and cultivating that will consist mainly of cutting it back as mint is very invasive and will take over if you let it.
Growing our own food will allow us to monitor the amount of harmful stuff that goes into our bodies. Commercial food producers seem to have forgotten about safety standards in my opinion and with companies like Monsanto in charge of the commercial food supply I’m thinking growing your own is a better idea than ever before.
With a garden full of fresh veggies your food options will be abound with fresh (not packaged) options for family meals and snacks. It will most certainly take some effort to make tomato sauce and salsa from tomatoes and pickles from cucumbers but I think the benefits of doing so speak for themselves.
Storing the excess you grow will also come into play as you will soon realize you’ll need to can or freeze the surplus to be able to make good use of it and not let it go to waste. Growing food and other food sustainability ideas are on the rise., and growing your own has never been more popular.
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Gardening is an interesting and rewarding hobby and growing your own veggies can increase your household food supply at a much reduced cost than purchasing commercialized foods. The health benefits of growing your own are endless and with a little practice you can be growing your own in no time.
Whether you have a large yard or are limited on space, there’s a way to bring a vegetable garden into reality for you and your family.
There’s no time like the present, Spring has sprung and food sustainability is in my future.
What will you be eating this fall?