Vegetable Garden Shade and Shelter

If shade is unavoidable for a few hours daily in parts of the garden try to plant these areas with cabbage, lettuce, Swiss chard and any other leaf crops that appear to tolerate such conditions for short periods. Even theses crops, however, require several hours’ full sunshine a day if they are to yield satisfactorily.

Shade from distant trees and from buildings is not as damaging as that thrown by overhanging trees nearby. In addition, trees in such close proximity to the growing crop rob growing vegetables of valuable moisture and plant food because of the extensive surface root systems they develop.

Shelter is different from shade and is often very necessary in low-lying exposed situations. A sheltered garden will allow the growing of tender plants such as bush beans and tomatoes to be continued during the colder months when field planting would be risky. Shelter also protects okra, staked tomatoes and other tall growing crops from damage caused by winds. Strong winds often cause considerable damage to staked tomatoes by whipping the plants and causing the immature green fruits to chafe against the support

Permanent shelter can be provided by a building, a wall, a substantial wooden fence, or by a hedge or even by a row or two of banana trees. A tall wooden fence, apart from acting as a windbreak, may also be useful as a permanent support for runner beans and other vine like vegetables When frost is expected it is often worthwhile to provide protection for tender crops by erecting a temporary windbreak of hessian or grass.