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Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

Established Contributor

Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

So, I’m a bit of a novice gardener but want to turn a small patch of grass in my back yard (approx 1m x 8m) into a garden bed full of veggies, herbs and ideally a fruit tree. The problem is, the garden is in the southern part of the garden and other than some afternoon sun in spring and summer it is in shade most of the time.


My current thinking is that I’ll plant some Rosemary and/or Thyme at the front (purple) in the area that gets the most sun. Then a two tiered  garden bed (the red section) with some veggies at the front (Potatoes, carrots etc) and some taller or climbing plants at the back (Snow peas, beans, passion fruit, capsicum or tomatoes).

 

What I can’t figure out is what to plant in the back (yellow). This is the shadiest part of the garden and I’d love to plant a lemon/lime tree here but I’m not sure if it will grow well in that spot. I also thought some timber garden edging might work around everything (I’ve seen a merbau roll @ Bunnings that looks good.)

Does anyone have any suggestions and if my current thinking on what to do will work? Thank you!

 

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

Hi @stupidfish,

 

Many thanks for your questions, I'd be happy to start the conversation.

 

I believe that although citrus will survive in a shady environment they will not thrive and occasionally not flower at all. You might wish to plant the citrus in a 1/2 Oak Wine Barrel Timber Planter instead of the ground so you at least have to option of moving it if it does struggle.

 

Some herbs that can be grown in partial shade are Chives, Parsley, Coriander, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Tarragon.

 

Let me mention the ever-helpful @Noelle  and @Adam_W to see if they can suggest some shade-tolerant herbs or vegetables.

 

Mitchell

 

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Super Contributor

Re: Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

Hi @stupidfish and @MitchellMc 

Most of your suggestions will work OK and I like Mitchell's ideas too.  In the yellow patch which is the shadiest, you could try some of the softer herbs that don't mind a bit of shade and could wilt if planted in full sun - coriander, basil, dill, fennel, garlic chives, "normal" chives, etc. 

This whole area between the path and the fence could be rather dry and the soil may not be up to scratch, so watch how quickly it dries out on a warm day, and improve the soil with plenty of compost, aged animal manures and bagged garden soil from Bunnings. To grow herbs and vegies, the soil needs to e reasonable quality. Add some complete or vegetable & herb fertiliser as well.

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Established Contributor

Re: Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

Thanks both.

 

I was really hoping to plant a fruit tree in the area at the end in the yellow. Is there anything like that which would work in that space?

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

@stupidfish,

 

A few shade-tolerant fruiting plants are Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Cherries, Plums and Pears. If you were wanting to grow any of the common citruses then I would suggest planting in a pot so they can be moved if they don't end up doing so well.

 

Mitchell

 

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Super Contributor

Re: Help! What plants will work in my shady garden?

@stupidfish @MitchellMc 

Hi again

The berry fruits will do OK in shade but generally the deciduous fruits like cherries, plums, etc will fruit better if they get plenty of sun.  You could espalier them against the fence where they would get better light on to the fruiting wood.  Remember you need cross pollinators on these fruit trees to get crops - two pear trees of different varieties, two European or two Japanese plums, etc unless you know there are other suitable pollinators in neighbours' gardens.

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