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IN THE GARDEN: Answering readers' questions

You can plant basil and a host of other herbs and vegetables in the shady spots of your garden.

It is definitely gardening season.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed us with questions and comments. Please feel free to continue emailing us with questions and discoveries. Here are a few that we would like to share with all.


Darin of Bertram asks: “I have extended our garden area to include some shady spots. What are some vegetables/herbs that thrive in partial sun, shady area?”

Darin, here is a list of vegetables/herbs that you can plant in the shady section of your garden: arugula, asparagus, basil, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, carrots, catnip, cauliflower, chard (Swiss), celery, chives, endive, flag (sweet), garlic, garden cress, germander, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, leeks, lemon balm, mint, mustards, parsnips, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, rosemary, rutabagas, scallions, sorrel, spinach, summer squash, turnips, valerian, watercress, woodruff (sweet).


Samuel of Llano asks: “I read somewhere that you shouldn’t plant watermelon next to corn. Why would that matter?"

Samuel, the reasoning is due to the height that the corn will grow. Corn can grow upward of 6 feet tall. Watermelon generally tops out at one foot. If the watermelon is planted close to the corn, because of the corn’s height, the watermelon would be in the shade. Watermelon plants prefer full sun. A few other plants that can create shade because of their height of 5-6 feet are snap or lima bean poles and climbing okra. Broccoli, cauliflower, lavender, peppers, rosemary, and tomatoes can exceed 3 feet in height.


Emily of Mason asks: “I’d like to grow some herbs this year. Are there herbs that will last through the year til next spring?”

Herbs are fantastic to have in your garden. Some herbs you plant each year. Some are perennials lasting a long number of years. The difference between annuals and perennials is their life expectancy. An annual herb will generally only last through the harvesting season. Whereas, a perennial herb will either stay green all year or return each year for our nasal and culinary enjoyment. A few perennial herbs that we enjoy from year to year are chives, lavender (English is hardier than French), lemon balm, lovage, oregano, rosemary, sage, sorrel, spearmint, sweet cicely, tarragon, and thyme.


Vegetables: tomatoes, lima beans, snap beans, beets, chard, okra, black-eyed peas, radishes, New Zealand spinach, summer squash.

Herbs: anise, basil, bay, catnip, chives, costmary, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, scented geranium, germander, horehound, horseradish, lamb’s ear, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, Mexican mint marigold, oregano, perilla, rosemary, sage, santolina, summer savory, winter savory, sesame, sorrel, southernwood, tansy, tarragon, thyme, wormwood.

Till next time. Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1

"In the Garden" is written by daughter-father gardening team Martelle and Bill Luedecke. If you have gardening questions, contact Martelle at 512-769-3179 or or Bill at 512-577-1463 or Read more "In the Garden" columns in the 101 Lawn & Garden Guide.

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