Working with shade is something that many gardeners have a hard time with. For whatever reason, many people figure that shade is simply something that they have no control over, and let it go at that. Instead of trying to work against the shade, why not learn how to work with it instead? Working with shade is surprisingly easy to do, as long as you keep in mind a few fundamentals.
- How much shade do you have? Before you can begin working with shade, you need to determine how much shade you have. There is no real way that you can speed this part of the process. Instead, what you need to do is take time and watch your garden and your yard throughout a day, and see how much shade is cast at the various parts of the day. You don't necessarily need to sit out and watch all day long, but check periodically throughout the day so that you have a good idea of how much shade is affecting your work area.
- What causes the shade? Once you have an idea of how much shade you have, you need to determine what is causing the shade. Often shade is caused by trees, or buildings. However, other things, such as bill boards or fences, can also cause shade.
- Are you willing to remove the cause of the shade? Take a look at the cause of the shade, and determine if you are willing to remove it. Often, this is all you need to do to be able to solve the problem. However, if you are unable to, or unwilling to remove or relocate the cause of the shade, then you will need to work around it. Keep in mind though, that most often shaded areas are only covered in shade for a few hours a day. This is a step that should only really be taken in cases of particularly deep or persistent shade.
- Work around the shade. If you are unwilling, or unable, to move the cause of the shade then you will need to learn how to work around the shade. Often this can be done through the use of plants which can grow well in shaded areas. For ideas on what types of shade plants will work best in your particular area visit with your local nursery and they should be able to tell you exactly what you need to use.