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AGRICULTURE REPORT - Gardening: Vegetables Made in the Shade

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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

Not all vegetables need lots of sunshine. Mark Hoffman and his wife, Guia, own a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse in rural Kempton, Illinois. They often serve their guests produce fresh from the garden.

The Hoffmans have been growing food and flowers for twenty-five years. For almost ten of those years, Mr. Hoffman has been experimenting and working with shade plantings. He says visitors to his website -- greenhousebed.com -- often ask how to plant in shade spaces.

MARK HOFFMAN: "The bottom line here is that most plants will produce more in full sun. But if you do not have full sun, there are other options."

Mark Hoffman's tomato plants growing up into the leaves of an oak tree
Mark Hoffman's tomato plants growing up into the leaves of an oak tree

For example, he grows tomatoes near oak trees. Oak trees can produce a lot of shade. But Mr. Hoffman says his tomato plants grow as long as they get five hours a day of direct sunshine, especially morning sun.

Not only does this go against the traditional advice that tomatoes need six, eight, even twelve hours a day of full sun. It also shows how plants and tree roots can share nutrients and water.

Mr. Hoffman also planted asparagus around a tree at its drip line, the area below the outer limit of the branches.

MARK HOFFMAN: "Now the asparagus is in partial shade. It has been there for six years now and is doing wonderfully. It is right at the drip line of the tree. So when it rains, all the rain drips down right on the asparagus."

The Hoffmans' website includes a list of vegetables, flowers and herbs that have produced acceptably for them in partial shade. Besides tomatoes and asparagus, these include broccoli, daylilies, horseradish, Irish potatoes, oregano and winter onions.

Mr. Hoffman says plants with wider leaves seem to do better in shady environments. He also found that his potatoes did better in partial shade than in full sun.

Moving them out of the sun helped control an insect problem with leaf hoppers. Mr. Hoffman does not use pesticides. Instead, he planted the potatoes at the drip line, especially on the east side of the tree.

The potatoes get morning sun, but they are shaded during the hottest part of the day. Leaf hoppers dislike shade, and the hottest part of the day is when they do the worst of their damage.

Time of day. Brightness of the sun. Shadows from trees, walls and buildings. These all influence how much sunlight falls, or does not fall, on plants. And extension agent Curtis Swift at Colorado State University says people interested in shade planting should also remember something else. The term "shade" can describe different amounts of darkness. He says it can even mean different things in different parts of the world.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson.  I'm Bob Doughty.

网友的学习评论(7条):
作者:Ben
I learn more about agriculture
作者:马良
haha
作者:lvjiaying1984
In some parts of China, especially the Western part, such as Chengdu, the Sun is rarely seen throughout the whole year and in Winter it is not surprising that you can never see the Sun through the whole Winter. It creates a lot of problems by having too little direct sunshine. You have to wait for a couple of days or even a week before you can pick the clothes you have put on the clothesline off it because the things that dry the clothes is not the Sunshine, but the Wind which takes longer
作者:lvjiaying1984
to make the clothes dry. During the whole year when I was a freshman studying there, I never enjoyed a good sleep because the quilts could never get dry enough to provide enough warmness for me to have a good sleep, especially in Winter when the temperature was quite low. Besides this, you can always have a feeling of hard breath because the weather is quite moist. There are other problems concerning about agriculture. Chengdu has been called the home of the pandas for several thousand years.
作者:lvjiaying1984
But I do doubt how the environment provides enough bamboos for the pandas in a place where there was nearly no sunshine in the whole year. Perhaps the bamboos can grow where there is little or no light. But how about the people living there? They have to eat something, whether wheat or rice. How can they manage to grow them where there is not enough sunshine? Can the wheat or rice produce enough things that will make the people there revive from malnutrition.
作者:lvjiaying1984
In order to resist the harsh circumstance conditions, people in Chengdu eat a lot of hot peppers and peppers which will help people adapt to the environment. For persons living in other areas of China, whose major diet doesn't include peppers and hot peppers, it is hard to adjust to the food provided by the school cafeterias. I have to admit it is a mistake that I chose Sichuan University as my college school because I can neither adapt to the living conditions, nor the human conditions.
作者:kelsay1021
haha,anyhow,you have to adapt it.maybe the situation is not that bad as you say.and i believe there is something you like or persue. just do as the romans do.
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