The first step in mastering shade plants is determining what type of shade your area has. Does it have partial shade or full shade? Next you’ll need to be sure to choose plants according to their light requirements.

Light is not the only thing to consider you’ll always have to make sure that your area has adequate soil and drainage. Test your area for drainage by filling a hole with water and returning three hours later. If there is still water remaining in the hole be sure to chose plants that thrive in wet soil.

To prepare your soil make sure there is an abundance of good organic compost and mulch to the soil. This soil preparation is pretty much the same as it would be for any vegetable garden, perennials or shrubs.

When planting a shade garden their are a few additional considerations that you will need to examine. If the shade you experience is a result of trees your plants will be competing for their food and water. If this is the case begin a regular feeding and watering program. These plants will need to be feed as soils under these conditions get depleted of essential plant nutrients.

There are a few additional considerations to be met when you are creating a garden in the shade. If the shade is the result of trees, you must be prepared to deal with the fact that your shade plants must compete for their food and water therefore begin a regular watering and feeding program because such soils are also depleted in plant nutrients.

Another thing to consider is when to plant your garden. Spring is a great time to plant your shade garden because temperatures are cool and rainfall is abundant. Roots have a chance to become established before it gets hot and dry. Fall is also a good time to plant; even after air temperatures drop, the soil remains warm, which promotes rapid root growth, preparing the plants for the long cold winter. Winter and summer are not as optimal due to the extreme temperatures reach during each season.