Growing veggies with only eastern facing exposure

EmmaPNWMay 9, 2011

Hi everyone, I'm completely new to container gardening, to gardening in the Pacific Northwest, and relatively new to gardening in general -- the last time I grew something from a seed was many, many years ago when I was a child living in Hawaii. However this year I decided to take the plunge and start my own vegetable garden, largely because my current apartment has a nice, big back area, but also because I'm tired of buying herbs in the supermarket and only using few of them before they go bad. Right now I have 7 tomato starts, 12 strawberry starts, 2 zucchini starts, rosemary, basil, oregano, peppermint, catnip, thyme, garlic, and peas. I'm afraid I went a bit overboard with the plant buying. That being said, I'm relatively certain I have everything adequately spaced/in appropriate sized containers (with the possible exception of the strawberries). I (mostly) planted everything in Black Gold potting soil and have added no additional soil/fertilizer/additives to what I have.

Whew. Ok. With that out of the way here's my question/problem: I went about things a bit backwards since I started researching my plants' needs AFTER I planted everything! So now, after all the purchasing and hauling of bags of potting soil, I'm suddenly faced with the realization that my plants may not be getting enough full sunlight since my garden is basically limited to eastern exposure. I'm not sure of how long my plants are getting full-on sunlight but I'm pretty sure it's not anywhere close to 8+ hours since I suspect many of my plants are in full shade by 2pm and aren't fully exposed to sun until probably 8am.

Is this going to be enough sun to get at least a few fruits/veg off of my starts or should I just accept the fact that I've inadvertently doomed my plants to a Goth-like existence, scrap the lot of them, plant something shade tolerant, and suck it up and buy my fruits/veg/herbs at the grocery store/farmers markets? Is there something I can do to increase their sun exposure -- possibly hanging mirrors/reflective foil on my privacy fence (which gets the most sun) and tilting them down?

Sage advice would be greatly appreciated!

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My peppers get light from 8am to 2-3pm so you should be fine. They would be better in more light. I wish I had more room in my full sun garden.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:05AM
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6 hours should be fine to get some fruit. I have a Southern facing garden that is under a balcony and some of it will only be getting 3 to 5 hours, it will effect the yield but they will do alright.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:08AM
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Ideally, I would think, it's better to have full sun for most of the day when it comes to some vegetables and herbs... but I grow many things in a strictly eastern exposure with great success. Morning sun is less harsh than afternoon sun, which I've always viewed as a plus. I think you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:32AM
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If you do find it's not quite enough, you can rig up some supplemental lighting on a timer for a couple of hours a day which should not cost too much in electricity due to short duration.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 8:30AM
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