Chisa Nagai, Grant Writing and Development

Choosing what to grow in your home garden can be difficult, since all plants require different growing conditions. One way to determine what kind of plants are most suitable for your home garden is to consider the microclimate of your garden. Microclimates are specific areas that do not have the same environmental conditions as the area around it, and therefore provide unique growing conditions. Some factors that determine microclimates include proximity to water, wind turbulence, direction of home, soil, and urban developments. For example, if the garden is situated next to a North-facing house wall, your plants would only receive partial sun during the summer, and full shade in the winter. If the garden is located near concrete roads, it would make the soil more dry and warm due to the fact that concrete absorbs heat from the sun during the day and releases it to its surroundings at night. In terms of shading, full sun refers to gardens that receive over 6 hours of full direct sunlight, partial shade (or partial sun) refers to gardens that receive between 3 and 6 hours of full direct sunlight, and full shade refers to gardens that receive less than 3 hours of full direct sunlight. Based on these factors, here are some plant recommendations for common microclimates:

  1.  Gardens with full sun and dry soil:
    • Okra
    • Quinoa
    • Summer squashes 
  2. Gardens with full sun and average soil moisture:
    • Asparagus
    • Cantaloupe
    • Cowpeas
  3. Gardens with partial shade and moist soil:
    • Broccoli 
    • Chard
    • Artichokes 
  4. Gardens with partial shade and average soil moisture:
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Potatoes
  5. Gardens with partial shade and dry soil:
    • Spinach
    • Watermelons
    • Turnips 
  6. Gardens with full shade:
    • Hostas
    • Cilantro
    • Flowering ornamental perennials 

References:

26 Vegetables That Can Grow In Partial Shade. (n.d.). Gardening Channel. https://www.gardeningchannel.com/sun-and-shade-loving-vegetables-list/

Arsenault, R. (n.d.). 30+ Vegetables That Grow in Shade. Grow a Good Life. https://growagoodlife.com/vegetables-that-grow-in-shade/

Frank, A. (2017, December 2). What Are Microclimates, And How To Use Them In Your Garden. GrowJourney. https://www.growjourney.com/what-are-microclimates-and-how-to-use-them-in-your-garden/#.YDnSb5NKjvU

Frank, S. (2019, April 3). 50+ Fruits, Herbs, And Vegetables That Grow In Shade. Tyrant Farms. https://www.tyrantfarms.com/fruit-herbs-vegetables-that-grow-in-shade/

Ly, L. (n.d.). Vibrant Gardens Using Drought Tolerant Vegetables. Gilmour. https://gilmour.com/drought-tolerant-vegetable-garden

Magyar, C. (2020, February 3). 26 Vegetables To Grow In The Shade. Rural Sprout. https://www.ruralsprout.com/shade-vegetables/

Microclimate: How to Use it to Your Advantage. (n.d.). Fast Growing Trees. https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/pages/microclimate-how

Shaw, W. (2016, July 15). Annual Border: The Right Plants for Your Microclimate. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. https://www.bbg.org/news/the_right_plants_for_your_microclimate


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