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Can I grow tomatoes (and other vegetables) in part shade (4-5 hours)? Answered

I've recently moved into a new house (I'm not telling you where) and the backyard only receives 4-5 hours of sunshine per day. I'm wondering if my vegetables requiring full sun will still grow? I'm tired of seeing the same old "it must have at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day" . If this is still not possible then I will consider a hydroponic system with growth lights under my stairs... I was always interested in hydroponics ever since I saw an advertisement for the AeroGarden, but I never actually tried to build a system and I definitely can't afford one.

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shmacky26 (author)2010-05-27

 Yes, you absolutely can, there is a book that I love that is called Solviva, where a woman on Nantucket Island grew tomato plants that lasted for 2 years in her green home, I live in Pennsylvania, and trust me, we don't get a lot of sun in the winter, and it's very indirect sun that we do get.  4-5 hours of full sun is plenty for tomato plants.  
May I suggest getting Siberian tomato seeds, they need less sunlight, as you can guess Siberia gets, and are very hard working tomato plants even when you don't give them all of the love in the world.
I use them for an early harvest, while my other tomato plants are still developing, the Siberian tomatoes are naturally equipped to produce with little sun and in a short 2 month summer.

Hope that helps,
Sparticuss The Gardenest.

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hishealer (author)2009-12-31

There are tomatoes that need less sun, I think Early Girl is one.  I tried a couple of varieties on my shady porch, and failed.  I don't think they got but 2 hours direct sun on a good day though.  Good luck!

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rickharris (author)2009-06-06

yes although they may not grow as tall and crop so heavily - they may also take longer to ripen. Can you arrange a reflector (could just be aluminium foil on a board) to reflect light for a longer period on to the plants.

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awang8 (author)rickharris2009-06-11

Don't think I can do that, The spot I chosen gets the earliest and latest sunshine.

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