Tomatoes in Part Sun?
You’re not supposed to grow tomatoes in part sun, everybody knows that. But I’m performing a little experiment. I wanted to grow tomatoes in containers on the back steps, along with some herbs: sweet basil, Thai basil, mint, chives, and parsley.
The thing is, around dinner time it seems like such a chore to walk out to our little vegetable and herb patch to pick whatever it is that we need. True, it’s a walk that takes approximately 2.5 minutes, but at that moment even tiny distances seem daunting.
There are two possible explanations for this. One is laziness. The other explanation can be found in the old Star Trek episode ‘Wink of an Eye’. On this episode, radiation on the planet Scalos makes characters move so fast that they cannot be seen by uninfected people. The difference in my situation is that the radiation makes me move really slowly, so that short distances seem much longer. Most likely the Star Trek explanation is the correct one.
Either way, our back porch is right off the kitchen, and the porch steps are, well, right off the porch. So the solution is obvious.
I’ve planted three tomato plants in pots on the back steps: ‘Patio’, ‘Better Bush’, and the ‘Juliet’ grape tomato. All but ‘Juliet’ are determinate tomatoes, which means the harvest, if there is one, will be over a fairly brief period. Just in case, I’ve also planted another three tomato plants in the regular vegetable and herb patch, where they get full sun.
So far the back step tomatoes look pretty happy. They’re putting out flower buds but are rather slow to bloom. If they bear some tomatoes, even if it’s a small yield, I will consider the part sun tomato experiment a success.
The herbs also look pretty content. Basil is supposed to be a full sun herb, but we’ve tried the sweet basil already and it was no less delicious than normal basil. My sense is that the herbs will be perfectly fine where they are.
I was thinking I should fill in these pots with some low-growing flowers, maybe more Sweet Alyssum?
Have you tried growing herbs or tomatoes in only part sun?