Friday, September 13, 2013

Shade Tolerant Greens

I have a few spots in my garden that get very shady come winter, and thats when many winter greens and vegetables need sun. I found this guide to shade vegetables. I'm really excited about the Asian greens such as bok choi and tatsoi! Its the perfect spot as it only gets 3 hours of sun a day in the winter months. We built a raised bed and part of it gets this winter shade. I was so disappointed to see it was having trouble without the proper sun. This will be a great way to utilize that spot especially since greens are such a big part of out diet and our garden. I hope this helps you too. 

When considering which crops to grow in shady areas, think of them in terms of leaves and roots. Crops we grow for their leaves (kale, lettuce, spinach) and those we grow for their roots (beets, carrots, turnips) will do fairly well in partially shady conditions. (The crops we grow for their fruits — such as eggplants, peppers and tomatoes — really do need at least six hours of full sun per day.)
To learn more about how to grow crops in shady gardens, check out Best Vegetables to Grow in the Shade.
Shade Notes 
Growing Tips 
ArugulaAt least three to four hours of sun per day.Arugula welcomes shade, as this crop is prone to bolting as soon as the weather turns warm if in full sun.
Asian greensAt least two hours of sun per day.Asian greens such as bok choi (also spelled "pac choi" and "pak choi"), komatsuna and tatsoi will grow wonderfully with a couple hours of sun plus some bright shade or ambient light.
ChardIf you grow chard mainly for its crisp stalks, you will need at least five hours of sun per day; if you grow it mainly for the tender baby leaves, three to four hours of sun per day will be enough.Expect chard grown in partial sade to be quite a bit smaller than that grown in full sun. Baby chard leaves are excellent cooked or served raw in salads.
Culinary herbsAt least three hours of sun per day.While many culinary herbs need full sun, chives, cilantro, garlic chives, golden marjoram, lemon balm, mint, oregano and parsley will usually perform well in shadier gardens.
KaleAt least three to four hours of sun per day.You'll notice only a small reduction in growth if comparing kale grown in partial shade with kale grown in full sun.
LettuceAt least three to four hours of sun per day.Lettuce is perfect for shadier gardens because the shade protects it from the sun's heat, preventing it from bolting as quickly. Often, the shade can buy a few more weeks of harvesting time that you'd get from lettuce grown in full sun.
MesclunOne of the best crops for shady gardens. Grows in as little as two hours of sun per day and handles dappled shade well.The delicate leaves of this salad mix can be harvested in about four weeks, and as long as you leave the roots intact, you should be able to get at least three good harvests before you have to replant.
Mustard greensAt least three hours of sun per day for baby mustard greens.Mustard grown for baby greens is best-suited for shady gardens.
Peas and beansAt least four to five hours of sun.If growing these crops in partial shade, getting a good harvest wil take longer. Try bush and dwarf varieties rather than pole varieties.
Root vegetablesAt least four to five hours of sun per day for decent production.Beets, carrots, potatoes, radishes and turnips will do OK in partial shade, but you'll have to wait longer for a full crop. The more light you have, the faster they'll mature. Alternatively, you can harvest baby carrots or small new potatoes for a gourment treat that would cost an arm and a leg at a grocery store.
ScallionsAt least three hours of sun per day.This crop does well in partial shade throughout the growing season.
SpinachAt least three to four hours of sun per day.Spinach welcomes shade, as it bolts easliy if in full sun. If you grow it specifically to harvest as baby spinach, you'll be able to harvest for quite a while as long as you continue to harvest the outmost leaves of each plant.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mango/Pineapple Green Smoothie

This is my new favorite green smoothie. I am so addicted.
We had this in Austin at The Daily Juice when we traveled there at the beginning of August. I think I have come close to the recipe, and have had fun trying to perfect it. Of course as always you can adapt it to your taste. If you like it a bit tangier, add a little more lime and salt. Salt?? Yes salt!!

1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup frozen mango
1 avocado
a handful of fresh spinach
a splash of lime
a few shakes of Pink Himalayan sea salt
water to loosen, about 1/2-3/4 of a cup

Blend till smooth and drink!

I love getting my organic greens (spinach and baby kale) and frozen fruit at Costco since its such a great deal, and pre-washed. (Of course a little extra wash on the greens might be a good idea.) The pineapple unfortunately is not organic, so this time I bought the organic cherries. I made this same recipe with the cherries instead of the pineapple and it was pretty tasty. Something about lime and salt in a smoothie is so amazing...its a smoothie-rita!

Edible Yard

I love the idea of changing the yard plants into all edibles. They are beautiful, they flower, I water plants anyway, they might as well grow me a vegetable, and there is such a huge variety.